After acknowledging the impact others have on us, you can ask yourself "What am I telling myself?" and "If that’s true, what am I afraid will happen?". The more present, gentle and compassionate you can be with the underlying feelings, the faster you can move through your trigger. Then you're more likely to respond in ways that feel, kind, responsible, intelligent and aligned for you.
What we refer to as "selfishness" is action taken without concern for the impact or cost of that action. Self-responsibility, on the other hand, includes actively living from the truth of interdependence, care for your and others needs, thriving of all, and more. We can access clarity of self care when we have open flexibility, curiosity, and responsiveness. Read on for more on the indicators and attributes of each of these distinctions.
When someone responds with painful sarcasm, criticism, or dismissal you can respond with empathy, or with clarity about your intention, need and request. If you're unable to do this, later you can privately write what they said, identify the feelings and needs of both of you, then write possible responses. This can help you remember to stay with your intention and what’s true for you without getting caught in defensiveness or reactivity.
In times of stress, some part of you may still hold the belief that you can't be present for the stressor and survive. Some part of you may believe you have to go away. There are three things you can consider when attempting to intervene with the reactive pattern of shutting down: how you relate to the shutting down, access to self-confidence, and engagement. Read on for more.
Interrupt cycles of conflict by creating a new ways forward. You can do this by connecting with the energy of the met needs you want in the dynamic; guessing the other person's needs; naming your needs; asking essential questions; identifying at least three different strategies to meet each need; and imagining the positive outcome.
What can you do to move towards connection when you you sense reactivity, defense, withdrawal or conflict arising? You can make a connection request, check the congruence between your body language and your words, and get curious about the impact of your actions. When you've tried everything you could also acknowledge that something is off, and choose to come back together when both parties have had time to reflect. Read on for more.
Reacting is deciding what to do based on what someone else does. Responding is deciding what to do based on your own needs and values. When someone isn't responding the way you want, and you want to respond in a way that embodies your values, with warmth and patience, examine your reactions. Ask yourself how you can access compassion and action that contributes to the well-being of all.
When we're judging we're less able to access both what we care about and constructive next actions. Instead, create more internal space and agency starting with connecting to your feelings and needs; then feel your grief or disappointment; followed by getting curious about the other party's needs and context -- and then based on collective needs and the long term effects make requests or take aligned action that works for all.
As you witness injustices in the world, tension, anger, hopelessness, despair and more, may rise up in you. These feelings may lead to reactive thinking that doesn't contribute to healing nor wise action. Mourning is a universal need. If your culture pushed away grief and its emotional expression, you may have habits that block your access to the aliveness of grief. Read on for ways to give grief the space and support it needs.
Little negative impacts can become big when left unattended. Watch for things like using a sharp tone, choosing not to share something, going along with something when you don’t really want to, trying to convince your partner, impulsively turning away, shrinking, losing access to parts of yourself, hiding, daydreaming about a different life, and judgmental thoughts. Instead, shift the dynamic: take responsibility, provide empathy, and commit to change.