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How To Deal With Verbal Attacks.

26 Feb

Courage

Online, you can delete, block and sometimes report inappropriate or abusive comments, but what do you do if someone verbally attacks you at a dinner party or gathering?

After watching Anthony  launch into a witch hunt on Cheryl at the dinner party on Married at First Sight Australia  (series 4 episode 10) I realized a few things.

1.  A lot of people, even strong empowered ones, don’t always know HOW to stop unwanted, unwarranted, unacceptable tirades.

2. Abuse often renders people speechless and causes what I call “bunny in the headlights.”

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3. The majority of people tend to sit in a bystander rather than Continue reading

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What To Do If Your Boundaries Aren’t Respected.

20 Dec
happiness

image from myinsidejobonlife

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. Brene Brown.

Boundaries are guidelines put in place to encourage emotional and physical safety and are created by people who respect their own strengths, abilities and individuality as well as those of others.

Most of us are pretty clear about our distinct values, beliefs, psychological needs and preferences. Knowing who we are in our inner world and how we want to live in our outer world is a healthy and empowered way to be.

The imaginary line we draw around us to say this is who I am and these are the things that are important to me are not always respected by

  • habitual advantage takers
  • chaos and catastrophe addicts
  • drama makers with no self behaviour filters
  • the overly needy who expect you to save and solve their constant problems
  • people who are overly invested or amazed by you after only knowing you a short time
  • poor listeners
  • shame and blame throwers
  • judgemental disapproving types
  • manipulators, abusers and bullies.

The distress we feel when a boundary is violated is a message to protect ourselves and a signal to clearly express to bothersome people that there are things we don’t want them to do or say to us, one moment longer. When we set a limit or say no, or stop or don’t, it should count. We can state our feelings and wants and needs clearly, and set a reasonable consequence even though others are not responsible or obligated to honour what we ask for. They will either respect our limits or they will push and weasel and work their way across the boundary lines. This is likely to cause us to become

  • uncomfortable
  • drained
  • overwhelmed
  • shaky and shocked
  • reactive and emotionally charged
  • flooded with thoughts and feelings of what to do to fix it
  • angry at being mistreated or used.

Do not tolerate crappy behaviours because of fear. We are not obligated to meet the needs of others while sacrificing our own, just because we fear the consequences. Do not scramble for approval or acceptance. Accepting situations that are really unacceptable just to keep someone in our life means giving up whats important to our emotional safety. We needn’t compromise our values, integrity and self-respect. We are as entitled to make choices that others may not like as they are to make ones that we don’t like. It’s whether those choices are respected that makes the difference.

What can you do if others cross your boundaries?

  • Change what you can change. Let them know what they are doing. Say you won’t be taking that on, or that you aren’t someone who lends your things. Say no more often. Make yourself unavailable. Let them know what you like and don’t like (again) express your bottom line, and say things like you promised yourself you would not take calls in the evening or accept unannounced visits.
  • Accept what you can’t change.
  • Remove yourself from completely unacceptable situations and don’t feel bad about your choices. Ask them to stop immediately. No means no. Inappropriate is inappropriate. Walk away from constant judgement, teasing, criticism, put-downs and negative comments without giving up or getting angry. Don’t engage in a justifying and defending match with people who refuse to hear your concerns. Instead, wait for them to not like being “told” and watch them exit.
  • Have it be ok to make your world smaller if need be. Find your tribe. Those safe, solid, authentic connections who are capable of compassion, are easy to be around, where mutual respect is common place. Hang out with uplifting souls and energise each other.

5 Things People Do Wrong In Relationships.

16 Aug
Resolving Conflict

Illustrated by Clementine Sourdais.

1. We focus on what’s wrong rather than acknowledging and growing what’s right.

Ruminating on annoyances never makes them magically disappear. Instead we need to consciously manage our own reactions, responses and behaviours by curiously wondering what gets triggered within us when we feel wronged or annoyed. Or we could choose to just step away and skip merrily on our way, sidestepping obstacles. The more we involve ourselves in tasks that propel us forward and make us feel good, the better. See if you can stop, breath, count to five and remind yourself of the value your loved ones add to your life.

2. We criticise rather than praise behaviours or affirm competence.

Think about how it feels when you have your less than fabulous traits pointed out to you in a way that doesn’t invite healthy discussion or kind creative solutions. Generally speaking people are more ready to give negative feedback than positive, and are likely to tell all who will listen about bad service rather than yell thanks from the rooftops about great service. Let’s all aim to spread more kindness around. Acknowledge. Affirm. Praise. Give thanks. Write a 5 star review.

3. Negative emotions are so much easier to grab at when we feel threatened. 

It’s important to stay resourced, rested and care for ourselves in ways that don’t run us ragged or make us righteous, stubborn or argumentative. Being tired and run down seemingly “allows” anger to spill over. Flowing lava burns people. Choose how, when and if you use it. Think about the consequences. If someone crosses your boundary, it’s really ok to just state something simple such as “I’m not ok with that.” Or “It’s not ok to talk to me like that.” Or invite the other person to communicate respectfully by asking “Could you please say that in a way that makes me want to listen.” Be encouraging and hopeful of change. If change doesn’t occur, reassess what you are doing and be brave enough to sidestep situations or people who don’t enrich your being.

4. We don’t always behave in respectful ways or treat others the way we would like to be treated.

Disrespect can sneak in a number of ways from how we talk to each other, to how we listen, right down to emotional or sexual betrayal. The rule of thumb is this. If you wouldn’t like it done to you, don’t say it or do it. Reach into the magic hat and pull out new ways of communicating. If you don’t want your words or actions viewed by people you care about, it’s a sure sign to stop and find an alternative. If you truly feel you don’t want to be around someone, reassess how much time you spend together,  or walk away and consider how or if it serves either of you to stay connected.

5. We don’t take self-responsibility and explore what gets activated in us when we feel hurt and angry.

If you consistently use anger as a first response, see if hurt lies underneath it. Be aware of what is likely to trigger you. Are you hungry, lonely, tired or unresourced? Did you step over your own boundary and seek engagement when you would’ve fared better taking time out? Do you need more solitude and self-care? Was it the right time or place? Did you filter your responses? Did you focus on the issue at hand rather than personally attack another? Did you think “If I say this, in this way, what is the likely consequence?”

In summary, 5 ways to do it right? Stay centered, calm, curious, compassionate and look for creative solutions.

7 Ways To Begin To Renovate Your Life.

14 Mar

 

circling-horses-prints

Circling Horses by Cassia Beck

If life feels stale around the edges, a lot of stuff is going wrong, others are being critical and competitive, friendships seem to be falling to the curb like flies, and normal activities begin to feel like swimming through thick fog, it could to time to change things up.

Often people will grin and bear it, grit their teeth, grind their teeth at night, and push on regardless, which is fine for a short time, just not a long time as it can compound the difficulties. Sometimes what we resist persists. When negativity outweighs positivity and it’s closing in on you from the outside and you have taken personal responsibility, searched deep within and tried many things that just aren’t working, or no one is listening or supporting you, or worse still blaming you, close the door and open another. Sometimes it’s actually not your fault. Sometimes you wake up and realise that you aren’t surrounded by your tribe. Or you realise that your shine and sparkle is being dulled in order to make someone else feel more adequate. Step away from determination and move closer to joy.

  1. Face up to the discomfort. Is the negativity in your situation beginning to change who you are or how you sound? Are you getting tired of not having your feelings and experience validated? Chances are you aren’t around the right people or you aren’t where you need to be, to shine.
  2. Don’t wait for permission. You always know deep down what is best for you. What other people think about you, is of no concern. Everyone has their own agenda. People may want to keep you close for many reasons that have no positive outcome for you.
  3. Look to nature for inspiration. Stop and breathe and know that there are dark times. Those times nurture new beginnings and allow inspiration to rise.
  4. Trust that something better is around the corner. Adventure is exciting. It’s good for your brain. Opportunity exists. Destiny calls.
  5. Celebrate all your victories. Remember all the good stuff you have done, the fabulous connections you made and the lives you changed for the better.
  6. Concentrate on gains rather than losses. Try not to fret or regret. If for example you have to sell a property you love, pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you put in and know that’s why you are reaping the rewards.
  7. Feel the fear, have faith and do it anyway. Make plans to get on a new merry go round and have faith that everything will turn out fabulously.

 

 

Never Ever Dull My Sparkle.

16 Jun
Credit to artist Evan Heasman - Soju Shots. This is his princess.

Credit to artist Evan Heasman – Soju Shots. This is his princess.

In the middle of a cold wet winter day, hauling in our olive harvest, dressed in drenched rags, full of the flu, I heard myself asking the angels for a miracle, a way out of unfortunate circumstances, a way back to my sparkle.

I usually like to sit in the Cinderella story as either the fairy godmother who helps others see their brilliance and potential, or as the bejewelled sparkling girl at the ball, feeling proud of my own accomplishments. I am not at all comfortable being Continue reading

Snow White And Rose Red.

5 Apr
Rose Red and Snow White

Photo credit and thanks to Nisha Ravji Photography and Models Sabina Vixen and Candy Thorne.

Snow White and Rose Red is a Brother’s Grimm fairytale about two sisters who shared a close and loving friendship with each other, where ‘No evil ever befell them.’

Their widowed mother taught them ‘What one has, she must share with another,’  so they effortlessly obeyed and shared whatever they had. This fostered the type of generosity and kindness that enabled them to offer shelter to a half-frozen bear who knocked on their door in the middle of winter, asking to be warmed. He became a trusted family friend, and when he left in the spring, they were sad. On their many adventures they encountered Continue reading

Good Versus Evil.

12 Jan

The world is and always has been, filled with good and evil. It is what it is. It’s a kind of wilderness that we need to learn to survive in. We have to find our own way through and manage ourselves down at the waterhole, staying alert to and seeking shelter from giants, angry dwarves, wolves and many bad apples along the way. Even if we don’t bump into trouble personally, disaster, violence, cruelty and horror has a way of bursting into our lives and living rooms, into our newspapers, onto our television screens and into our neighbourhoods more often than any of us would like.

Credit to: Artist Evan Heasman (Soju Shots")This is one of his deliciously dark art pieces.

Credit to: Artist Evan Heasman (Soju Shots) This is one of his deliciously dark artworks.

We live in a time where it’s getting harder to screen things out. Over exposure to excessive darkness and real life horror stories (even though they a reality) can cause us to Continue reading