I never thought I’d ever start of a blog post with this but, I was watching The Bachelorette the other night…
…and I noticed two guys quarreling and I actually had to look away. Why did I look away? Because one guy offended the other by making a comment about his kid, and daddy dearest immediately got defensive and aggressive, two of the worst traits in a gent if I do say so myself (cheap a close third.) And it was in that moment that I felt ever-so-grateful for doing an 8-week-mindfulness program in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) because it taught me how to cope and deal both when I feel heated and/or I’m dealing with someone who is heated.
I thought I’d share some insights so you never replicate that scene I wish I never saw on the screen. Because let’s face it, no one wants to be friends with – let alone date or be in a relationship with – someone who blows up immediately. Someone who can’t manage their emotions. Someone who makes people feel so on edge that no matter what they do to apologize, they go unheard. Someone who is defensive. We see through that stuff. It says more about the person acting that way than it does the person who offended them. If only they knew just how reactive and seemingly insecure they come off as.
1. Don’t react but respond: When someone offends you, don’t react. Take time to let your emotions calm before approaching the subject.
2. Rewind: When you catch yourself on the verge of defensiveness, stop yourself in your tracks. Delete the message you’re about to send. Hand up the phone (or don’t call in the first place.)
3. Be aware: If you feel the need to putting someone down, by using names, getting under their skin, or becoming aggressive pay attention to what the core issue actually is. Are you trying to bring them down to how low you feel? Why do you want to make them feel worse off? In order to change your actions you need to beware of where they stem from.
Those who are most admired are those who don’t let others walk all over them and handle situations in a way that’s assertive. That means they are honest and speak up at the time or after the fact at what the issue is offering a way to solve it to ensure it doesn’t happen again. This people are admired because they are communicating effectively. After all, wouldn’t you rather surround yourself with those who make you feel great about yourself, who understand issues might arise on occasion, but they can be resolved amicably rather than someone who is judging you and making you feel worse off? Set the bar, baby girl. We teach people how to treat us by what we are willing to put up with.
– Jenny Jen
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