Dropping Our Defenses
As humans, we tend to be naturally defensive. When
things happen to us that feel threatening, it is easy for the situation to take
a turn for the negative. This is why misunderstandings can easily leave us
feeling upset. It’s easy to misunderstand when people have different
communication styles. Understanding the communication styles of the people
around you, from family and friends to coworkers, will help shorten the gap
between their intent and their impact.
We encounter words and actions by the
thousands daily, but what happens when something causes us to be defensive? It
can be time to take a step back and consider what is happening. By
understanding yourself and those around you, it will be easy to stop taking
Tools for Better Understanding
Check on Yourself
When we take a
hit emotionally, sometimes there is an underlying culprit that is really eating
at us. This can be mental or physical. Take a moment to check on yourself and
make sure that the words or actions are hurting you, and not something else.
Did you sleep well? Are you hydrated? Maybe something else has been bugging you
or causing you to be more on edge. Writing down your feelings is a great way to
sort out what is bothering you so much about the interaction.
Hit Pause on Your Reactions
your feelings is one part of the equation, the next is responding to them. We
react to emotions both internally and externally. Sometimes an abundance of
energy can cause us to feel overwhelmed with feelings. Taking a moment can help
all parties involved. Being aware of what happened or what was said and taking
time to process it may help you see that it was not a personal dig or attack.
It may also help you understand both sides of the situation.
Step Into Their Shoes
The age-old adage
of “you can’t know a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,” rings
true when it comes to taking things personally. Think about the person that did
or said something that felt like an attack- what are they going through?
Perhaps they are upset for their own reasons and did not mean for those
emotions to spill out onto you.
Listen to the Feedback
Feedback is vital to growth. It’s okay to make mistakes, and it is even better to take critique gracefully. While someone’s delivery may not have been in your preferred style, strip down their words or actions into something that you can use to better yourself. Reflecting on growth is a great positive takeaway. Part of what feels so personal about something may be because it picks at insecurity. If this is true for your situation, think about ways that you may overcome that insecurity. Don’t forget to give yourself some extra self-love, and be thankful for the opportunity to strengthen yourself.
Look to the Stars
Looking up at the
sky (or searching the internet) to see what is going on celestially may give
you some added insight into the situation. Different alignments, shifts, and
rotations can all play into a heightened state of emotional volatility here on
Earth. If the stars are causing tensions to rise, consider the possibility of
revisiting the situation or person during a different phase.
Release Negative Energy
Once in a while, there are situations where you truly are taking the brunt of someone’s attack. It is never personal because their words and their actions are a reflection of themselves. At that point, your priority should be to shield yourself from their negative energy. Remind yourself that you deserve to be respected. You can accept a person while making the conscious choice not to accept their negativity. Shielding yourself from a hurtful situation is not the easiest thing, but with the proper tools, you can overcome it.
Create a Personal Toolbox
resource that you can look to when feeling personally attacked can help you
overcome those types of feelings. These resources may be mental or physical.
Mentally, you can prepare a mantra that reminds you of your worth and reminds
you to stay grounded. Physically, you may choose crystals that empower you with
confidence and calmness; such as Citrine, Amethyst, and Tiger’s Eye.
Choose How to Respond
When someone comes at you in a way that feels
personal, you can make the choice to move past the feelings of unpleasantness.
While insecurities can cause those feelings to amplify, create a plan to combat
Whether the situation is malicious or not,
give yourself a moment to evaluate your feelings, your relationship with the
person, and what actually happened. By preparing, you will be better equipped
to deal with things that feel personal in the future.
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