Vol. 79 August 2009 – What Do Those Little Pangs of Feeling Discomfort Mean?
Have you ever had a situation where you were with another person and they said something that made you feel uncomfortable. It may have been a sarcastic comment that hurt you in some way, or a demeaning comment aimed in your direction, or maybe even a joke that you were the center of. Sometimes the situation becomes more severe through subtle incrementally increasing negativity aimed in your direction. If you are a person who spends time with another who makes you feel anything but good about yourself I will ask you to consider what it is about the interactions that are not working for you. Is it the fact that the other seems to have a negative view of who you are and what you believe in, making little comments about how you are wasting your time doing things that are not worthy of your time and energy in their opinion. Maybe the other person does not believe that you know what you are doing or can trust your self because you have had difficulties before.
Whatever the issue is between the two of you it is a matter of having your boundaries over ridden by another that creates this feeling of angst. It is important to understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that no one’s opinion is more important than another’s. I have found in many of my clients the relinquishment of their own beliefs because of being bullied in some fashion to go along with another who had a stronger personality created a lack of self-esteem. When this occurs I have found that my clients feel that they are no longer being listened to and start feeling lost, depressed and confused inside. They wonder what they did to create this situation because they really have no clue.
Usually what has happened is that the client has let another have their way because to fight them was too difficult. It took too much energy and in so doing they lost their own sense of what was important. It is always important to be able to speak your truth and for it to be honored by the person with whom you are interacting even if they disagree with your point of view. It is okay to agree to disagree.
There are many cases when my clients have spoken up for themselves for the first time in a long while when the other person involved was willing to hear what my client had to say and even welcomed the in put for they did not realize that they were doing anything wrong.
One of my clients has a friend who can be very over bearing at times. This creates a feeling of discomfort for my client who really likes this person, however is overwhelmed by the forceful personality of her friend. She spoke to her friend about this issue and the friend thanked her for the information for she had no idea in how she had come across and even asked her to tell her whenever that behavior was happening so she could address it.
I have another client who has a sister who is always complaining about her life, her over weight and how uncomfortable she is while also being condescending to my client. My client had a talk with her sister and told her to knock off the “victim” mentality and start to do something about those things that needed to be addressed. She also gave her sister some situations when she felt that her sister was talking down to her. The response she received was one of appreciation and respect for having the guts to speak her truth and to let her know when she acted in a way that was “victim” like or condescending so she could feel more empowered by taking control of her circumstances. This was an incredible learning for this client because she had spent her entire life just putting up with this behavior from her sister and decided it was time to take a different approach, after all they were both grown adults now responsible for their own lives.
There are those times though when even when you do your best to find a solution to the situation that there is nothing that can be done because the other person is unwilling to change. This happened to another of my clients.
I had a client whose parents thought it was okay to dictate to her when they would come to my client’s house to visit with their grandchildren. While there my client’s mother would make demeaning comments to one of the grand kids, age five, to not listen to his mother, her daughter. This was very uncomfortable for my client to say the least, especially with this behavior happening in her own home. Through our work together my client was able to tell her mother that she did not have the right to tell her when she was coming to visit nor to tell her children that they need not listen to her, their mother. The end result of this was that the grandmother is no longer allowed to visit with the grand kids because the she was unable to be respectful to the feelings of their own daughter, the mother of the children.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling uncomfortable with how a person is speaking to you, it is up to you to tell the other how you are feeling around them. It is important because many times people are unconscious of how their attitude and behavior affects another. Without that knowledge there is no way for them to improve. And, also even if it is the most difficult thing that you can think of to do, you must take the time to sincerely tell the offending person how their interactions with you are not working for you. They may get irritated with you and blame you for their behavior and you will need to take a stand for yourself in letting them know that you are sharing this information because you care about them and your relationship with them. At that point it is up to them to either do something about it or find that you are spending less and less time with them. Because honestly, it is up to you with whom you spend your limited time isn’t it? So, it is up to you to make sure that your relationships are working for you. If they are not, and you are unable to speak up for yourself, I suggest you hire a hypnotist to assist you in finding out why it is that it is so difficult for you to stand up for yourself. No one is able to over run your boundaries unless you allow it. If this is an issue for you please do get some help so you can be more effective in your life, feeling empowered.
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