Sunday, February 19, 2012



I don't know about you but sometimes, despite the determined effort on my part to be a detached adult, I fall victim to some offhand comment by someone who can not possibly know anything about me, that I take personally. I allow the remark to make me feel small and ineffectual because it blind-sides me on a deep personal level. This causes a knee-jerk reaction in me that I don't even realize is there until it happens....and “poof” I'm a child again. I know from conversations with clients, friends and family members that this happens to ALL of us at one time or another.

So the question arises; “Why does this happen?” “How do we stop it?” Part of the situation lies in our childhood (don't roll your eyes, it IS where it starts) During punishment, a lot of the time we are made to feel small, ineffectual, wrong and worthless. If we grow up with out an opportunity to turn that around (and sometimes, even if we were) a situation arises that throws us right back into the mind-set. I have battled this most of my adult life and still it gets past me so I thought I would share some of my strategies with you today.
As we learn to stay on an even keel here we find we can stay powerful without losing our center, we stay in control of our own person, we stay grounded because we know that we are in charge of us and this is a reward in and of itself. Once you allow yourself to experience this state of being and realize how good it feels, you will want to be in that mind-stream all the time.

Listen to what you say when you talk to yourself. Most of the scenarios are self righteous rants that have absolutely nothing to do with what really happened, they are about what you may wish had happened. You always play the role of the victim in your story and you always come out on top. As you investigate your tales of woe, you will see patterns in them that can lead you to what is going on in your head when these events occur. When you begin to see these patterns, you can then identify your “pay-off” and can begin to change your mental actions to create new, empowering thought processes.
Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about "me."{The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz}

What others think about is none of your business.”{anon}

When we react “personally” we allow ourselves to be poisoned by a supposed thought process. The person who spoke was responding to their own feelings and more than likely had given no thought to you and your feelings at all. Most of the time an attack comes because of how they feel, not because of you. Allowing another person to pull your strings is to give away your power to them whether you know them or not.

OK so what do we do to stop it? I have some ways I use that might be helpful to you;

Don't jump to the conclusion that someone is trying to hurt you; If this is a habit of this behavior (and they all are habits) it is your habitual thought process to think that you are being attacked. Chances are that they are having a bad day, possibly they are thinking about something else and you just got in the way. Maybe they thought they were joking. Your first thought may be to react emotionally, but stop for a minute and remember that you are not the center of the universe and just maybe it's not about you at all. But imposing this short time out on yourself, you allow your emotions time to settle on the side of calm rather than to fly off the handle and be offended or hurt.

Change your perspective from “how you feel” to “What are they really saying”. If you stay in the “how I feel” mind-stream, you will stay focused on the unpleasant feelings that you are experiencing, and when you wallow in those feelings, they get worse. If you are taking into consideration where the other person is coming from you can see different options;

Ask yourself, “How does this person act toward others? Do they insult or tease everyone? Just certain people? Some people don't know any better or are on the offensive all of the time. This is NOT your fault nor your problem, don't own it.

Could the other person possibly feel threatened by you in some way? If you can see how they might, try to find a way to help them get over it, don't lower yourself to raise another.

Maybe the other person hasn't learned how to deal with others and situations in a mature way. You can be more patient with someone throwing a temper tantrum when you realize they are acting from a place of ignorance and immaturity than you can if you are coming from the same place.

Don't call your committee and rehash the incident. This is an immature form of wallowing that keeps you in a state of victim think. It prolongs the drama and reinforces the feelings and reaction that you say you are trying to out grow/let go of.

Realize that you are sensitive to what you think others are thinking Because of this you have strong reactions to body English, voice tone and inflection that signal you that you are in the wrong, whether you are or not. This is learned behavior and, if you work at it a bit you can unlearn it. You do not need the approval of others, you do not need to fix any thing or anyone (but yourself) Just because someone is displeased either with you or the situation it does not mean that you are at fault; however, if you ACT like you feel at fault, it will be assumed that you are.

I am not sure you know how your words/actions make me feel.” Tell the offending person just how you feel. You can't assume they know if you don't tell them, they may just be venting and not have a clue how the fall-out is affecting those who are hearing it. Speak gently but with authority (whether you actually feel it or not) Use non confrontational words and be as pleasant as you can. This may open a dialog that can fix a lot of issues, be sure to use active listening.

Don't rely on praise to help you feel better; Complements are nice and have their place in life but don't allow them to be your bench mark for your self worth. When you do you are still allowing others to decide how YOU feel about yourself you are just taking your information from a different direction. When you receive a compliment take it as no more than that persons observational statement. It is just their opinion, not a reflection on you but a statement about what they liked.

Make your offering without shame or guilt; Some people will like what you offer and some will not and that is all right. You never know when your humble offering is just what some one needed to turn their life around or make it better. You don't even need to know who or when.

Time can be a cause of seeming indifference; Don't be offended because you don't get a response right away. You are not the other person's priority. They will get to you when they can. Depending upon your request you may want to contact them again in an appropriate amount of time.

Our society is so fast moving we often receive or send what feels like a snippy answer. When and if this happens don't react...take time to cool down and act (from your angry, hurt, or upset response) and then reread the e-mail/text with a cooler head. Don't put any emotion into it, just read it, then respond in a clam, loving and understanding way.

If you don't understand or feel you are misinterpreting a reaction, ask. One year I was given a beautiful leather jacket as a Christmas present by my son and his family. When I tried it on it didn't fit so I showed him it didn't fit while apologizing a blue streak for not fitting inside it, mu guilt fueled by the look of disappointment on his face. He said he was sorry too and walked out of the room. For many months I squirmed not knowing if I had hurt his feelings or what was going to happen, I was afraid to ask, for 3 months. One day I got up the nerve to ask my daughter-in-law if I had offended them by not just taking the jacket. She looked stunned and then laughed, “No, of course not, didn't he tell you what we are doing about it?” With that one question we opened communication and got it all straight. I will ask sooner next time. Know that it is OK to ask.

The other side of asking is listening; Pay attention to what the other person is saying. Don't be so busy thinking up your next statement that you miss what is being said, that is how miscommunication happens. As you listen you may realize that your first thought was way off the mark. One you learn to actively listen and do it all the time, you will lessen the times that you misunderstand or react emotionally.

It is alright to walk away; if you feel that you will lose your cool, walk away until you are under control and then, if it is really important to you, go back and with nonjudgmental language, discuss it with the other person. Don't assign blame or make excuses. You might say something like “I feel that I may have misunderstood what you were trying to tell me earlier, I am ready to try again if you are.”

As you grow through your life and learn to handle first one thing and then another, your ability to communicate without losing you own center or giving over your power to someone else will serve you well. You will be well on your way to your Evolution of Self; Journey into Body, Mind, Spirit Balance! Bright Blessings, Chessie

© Chessie Roberts 2012, all rights reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment