If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always got.
You cannot change anyone, but you can change yourself and as you change you create a shift and everyone responds differently. This is about changing yourself and how you respond, but no one can do it for you, only you can make the change.
Build Emotional Resilience
Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to identify, assess and control the emotions of oneself, and others and is a key skill in becoming more resilient.
Employee Wellness Programs
- Better at achieving your goals
- Better communication and management of others
- Spring back emotionally from a difficult event
- Awareness of own and others emotions means you deal with things better
- Empathy for self and others means you relate better
- More in control of your behaviour from a place of self awareness
- More in control of others behaviours as more skilled at defusing situations earlier
You express feelings appropriately and as you are good at identifying the feelings of the other person you can offer them whatever they need, a sense of feeling listened to and a feeling of being understood. You come into situations differently, instead of losing control or yelling you are more in charge of yourself and more skilled at managing others. Coping with emotions well is important for long term happiness as it affects our relationships with others and how we relate to them.
Strategies for building resilience
You cook a special dinner and your partner does not arrive at the specified time. If I am out of touch with how I feel I will react angrily as they come in the door and blame them ‘You’re always late!’ As they walk into a situation where they have felt attacked, they mirror my defensiveness and reply in a similar vein ‘And you’re always giving out, I’ve just walked in the door!’ The conflict will escalate as the couple become enmeshed in each other’s behaviour.
Step 1: Check in with how you feel: Bring it back to self: How do I feel?
If I cook a dinner and the other person’s fails to arrive at the specified time, I check in with myself ‘How am I feeling?’ ‘I feel annoyed/irritated/not appreciated’.
Step 2: Take an Action for Self: What is it I need to do to support myself here?
When I don’t take an action for seIf, I take an action against another! I may decide I will eat my dinner while watching a favourite show, or that I need text the person and communicate my feeling ‘I feel unappreciated/disrespected and I need you to text if you are running late’. As my communication to them is not defensive (where they feel attacked), they have no need to respond negatively and may say ‘I am sorry, will do, there in ten minutes’.
Step 3: Stay Separate to the Behaviours of others
Their response is ONLY about them, not about me, so why personalise?
How to build resilience
Regardless of how they respond however, I need to stay separate to that response and hear it as being about them, about what is going on for them, and where they are at. They may respond negatively (after a difficult day in work) but how I hear that is about me. How is it I am hearing what they are saying as being about me? When I stay separate, I respond better. I am more compassionate and understanding as I have not personalised their behaviour.
What arises in you is only about you (frustration at lateness is your frustration)
What arises in them is only about them
After a tough day, they may project out and want to blame someone ‘You’re making me angry!’ My ability to stay separate means I want to hear more about their angry/frustration and I respond better as I have not personalised their comment, but know it’s only about them and what is going on for them. However, I may feel I will lash back to their anger so I may need to TAKE AN ACTION FOR SELF and say calmly ‘I want to hear about your anger, when you calm down; I cannot talk with you until you calm down’ and remove yourself calmly.
How to deal with Anger
When angry: The key message is: Take an Action for Yourself, or you will otherwise take An Action against the other Person. Leave the room to self-calm, take three deep abdominal breaths, Count to 10, ask the other person to take over momentarily from the task you are doing as you need to get in control of your behaviour. Your anger is always about one of two things:
- A feeling of being violated in some way (disrespected/taken for granted etc.)
- An unmet need – identify the unmet need.
Responding to your emotions more appropriately
The person who is having the feeling needs to
- Identify/Express the feeling ‘I feel angry’
- Respond in the way you need by Taking an Action for Self ‘I need’ or you take an action against the other person
- ‘I feel unsupported and I need more help’
A better way to respond to another persons’ emotions
If you are the listener you need to receive the others feeling, understanding that what is being expressed is not about you, but about them and what is going on for them.
- Empathy works: The ability to slip on their shoes and guess how they may be feeling
- Acknowledge their feeling works: ‘Sounds like you’re really upset….’/I’m guessing you feel unappreciated/I’m hearing you’re a bit overwhelmed?’ You sound really upset… that’s not easy… gives the other person a sense of being held/supported
- This helps them to open up and bring to the surface an issue that need to be resolved.
Building Resilience Practice: Checking in with how you feel
‘How do I feel?’ ‘I feel a little anxious about this meeting….’
Practice Taking an Action for self to stop you taking an action against the other person
Ask yourself ‘what do I need to do for myself right now?
‘I need to self-calm with a three minute breathing exercise to reduce/eliminate my anxiety and I will feel more secure and solid in myself’
What happens when you do not do this?
- I Project – Blame someone for how I feel or
- Introject- Blame myself ‘I’m useless’
Instead, NAME, TAME, CLAIM the Feeling
- Name the feeling ‘I feel anxious’
- Claim it ‘It is my anxiety, this is only about me’
- Tame it ‘What do I need to do to feel calmer? Deep breathing and focusing on the breath works as it is only a feeling. When I think about my breath, I can’t think about the anxiety and the anxiety passes and I feel grounded again’
As Mark Twain said ‘I’ve had many catastrophes in my life, some of which actually happened’