I've been LOVING the follow-up conversations prompted by last week's video blog. Thanks to all who reached out and shared their LIGHTBULB moments with me. In fact, (with permission) I'm sharing a couple of examples here, to bring to life just how easily we can get caught up in self-doubt, based on someone else's behaviour or thoughts.
"Joe" has been with his partner "Jane" for 6 years, and considers them to be in a strong relationship. He holds a middle management position, describes himself as confident, and is committed to his partner, friends and family. His lightbulb moment relates to the below...
Joe enjoys an occasional "social" after work with colleagues, maybe once every 3 or 4 weeks. There's not a financial issue and Joe doesn't drink as he always drives home. However, Jane will frequently introduce problems and reasons to get him to come straight home. She doesn't feel well, she's had a bad day, he should be putting her first. Joe feels guilty. He feels guilty for wanting to do something social with others, he feels guilty that he can't fix her problem on the phone, he feels guilty that she's not happy. In truth, Jane has trust issues. This has nothing to do with Joe and is something she learned through watching her parents marriage break down in her formative years.
Should Joe be kind, considerate and help her find resolution? YES!
Should he own her anxieties, negative thoughts and behaviours? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
They've spoken at length this week and decided how to move forward so that Jane can re-address these false lessons that are impacting her confidence and their relationship.
"Sam" is single and works in a law practice. It's a demanding environment and she works in a support role, preparing and delivering paperwork to tight deadlines. Her lightbulb moment was prompted by last week's blog...
Sam has been feeling more and more anxious since working with a particular solicitor this year. She feels she's constantly on-guard, trying to minimise the chances of an outburst by Jess. She dreads the weekly company meetings, as inevitably Jess becomes more critical, picky and snappy of Sam's work afterwards. Sam doubts herself; her competence, even her personality. On Thursday, she talked to Jess. Jess' behaviour has ZERO to do with Sam. In truth, Jess doesn't believe she's shown the same opportunities or respect as some of her male colleagues by her boss. She's always felt second best since her brother seemed to find exams and university so easy. Her frustration and poor leadership is simply a reflection of her own insecurities.
Recognising that other people's behaviour and attitudes have very little to do with you is incredibly liberating. You may say something that elicits a negative, snappy response. You may do something that prompts a jealous or distrusting response from someone. Unless you've been explicitly unkind, their response is likely to have way more to do with their own
anxieties, fears, insecurities, expectations and values than anything to do with you.
Think of it the other way round; if you respond badly in a situation, you're probably aware that your reaction isn't really 100% to do with that moment in time.
An extreme example of how this process can manifest is Gaslighting; a method of manipulation to cause a partner of other person to questions themselves. This is invariably as a result of the perpetrator's own insecurities. More on this another week...
Be kind to others BUT be kind to you too. Last weeks video blog available here
To discuss your own lightbulb moment, get in touch :-)