Friday, October 26, 2012
Swallowing Your Anger
How do you react if someone over steps your boundaries or makes an inappropriate comment towards you? Do you feel anxious or awkward?
Your body is a great compass and will usually highlight in some way, that you are being faced with inappropriate behaviour and that you may need to take some action towards the person who has made the snide remark, or an unsolicited criticism towards you.
Most of us however, choose to ignore our bodies and usually are so shocked by someone's poor behaviour that we fail to address it. We swallow our anger and feelings down and suppress our feelings. We also get shocked into silence and then end up giving ourselves a hard time for not answering back or saying something.
If someone is nasty or rude towards us, we often question ourselves or tell ourselves we are being too sensitive. We fail to honour our feelings and give other people permission to treat us badly. Regardless of why we do this, it is expensive to swallow your anger. Doing this will eat away at your self esteem and will often lead you feeling resentful and hurt.
Many people feel really uncomfortable in speaking up, especially when in the past, they may have been taught that keeping your mouth shut was in fact a safer option. Others fail to speak up because they fear the other person will think badly of them or they may end up hurting their feelings. Well what about your own feelings? If you are too sensitive to other people's feelings, you are actually being insensitive to your own. In fact, standing up for yourself and using you voice is a great way to empower yourself and show other people how you deserve to be treated.
Try this process the next time you are faced with rude or inappropriate comments or behaviours:
1) Take a breath and acknowledge what happened and how your body is feeling. If you would rather walk away and let the ball go out of play then do so. You may wish to say ' I am sorry, this doesn't work for me so I am choosing to walk away from you'
2) If you decide to address the behaviour ( yes, it will feel scary but I promise you, it will make you feel powerful afterwards!) then try the following statements:
' I need you to know that I am not comfortable with you speak to me like that, I would like you to stop' or ' I am not willing to talk about that with you'
3) Don't get judgemental or try to explain yourself. Short and firm statements are best. Express your feelings and state what you would like to happen.
4) If someone continues to treat you like this, it is acceptable to just walk away from the relationship.
When you begin to stand up for yourself, it is going to feel strange and uncomfortable. You may be tempted to even apologise to the person who was rude to you! However, with practise, things will get easier. Yes, you may make mistakes but it is all part of the learning process. Remember, nobody has the right to dump their bad moods, stress or anger on you. The goal is to speak up rather than swallowing your anger.