That moment. When someone comes at you in a tone where you know nothing good is going to come from this conversation…
If someone approaches you with offensive commentary, an aggressive stance, or dumps misplaced feelings into you —-most of us go into a flight, fight, or freeze mode. We don't really know what to do with that comment.
More often than not, I hear folks share experiences about “freezing”, not saying anything, and continuing to hold on to that unpleasant interaction. We may even beat ourselves up for not saying anything.
I can identify with this. Growing up in Texas as a woman, behavior was modeled for me and more often than not I used to freeze and carry all those unpleasant emotions that didn’t belong to me.
So I want to share this ‘life hack’ that I learned from my previous therapist. It helps to have a phrase to remember so one is less likely to freeze.
Here it is. One statement.
🌟 “I feel uncomfortable with ________.”
Ex: aggressively postured co-worker begins to make de-valuing statements, demeaning you, and ordering things for you to do as if they were your boss.
“I feel uncomfortable with the way you’re speaking to me.”
Yes there will be about 3-5 seconds of awkward silence, but it always passes. Many times people don’t know how they sound or even if their actions are out of line.
One you get the hang of naming what makes you uncomfortable, that once negative interaction turns into a beautiful assertive experience. You can’t control others’ response and you aren’t responsible for their feelings. But truly most the time the other person apologizes.
You are only responsible for your feelings. Don’t try and make the world “comfortable” at the expense of your own wellbeing. It’s not worth it.