Posts Tagged self respect

How Do I Feel Peaceful When I Know Someone is Angry or Upset with Me?

This question comes up often in my work with clients, and rightly so. There is much confusion about the distinction between co-dependency and the insecurity it fosters and healthy interdependence and the natural and appropriate concern and consideration of others that it contains. Many spiritual teachers would say that no one can be truly upset with you. They would say that at best people can be upset by the stories they are telling themselves about you that are triggered by their assumptions and projections of who you are and who you should be and by their story that you are responsible for their needs in some way. Thus, when someone is “upset with you” they are merely upset that you are not living up to the projection and stories they have in their heads about what you should or shouldn’t do/say or be. I will say that I find incredible peace and enjoyment in my relationships with others when, if I notice I’m starting to get angry, hurt or anxious, in relation to someone, I separate my “story” of what someone should or shouldn’t have done from the truth of what they actually did and seek to understand their motivation (ie. the needs they were seeking to meet); discuss with the situation with them from a place of seeking to understand and to be understood (rather than seeking to be ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’); and (in most cases) come to a solution that truly meets both parties needs. In other words, the less I take other people’s behaviour personally and simply see it as their best attempt to meet their own needs in that moment, the happier I am in my relationships and resentments just don’t accumulate. And, if we find that we have too many differences in values or beliefs in our relationship with someone, we can detach from that person from a place of loving and respecting them for who they are while simultaneously recognizing that we are not a match for partnership/friendship/peer relationship, etc. We don’t have to “reject” or “ostracize” the other person simply because we are not a fit. It is not either or; all-or-nothing. In my experience, that philosophy only works when you have a few key pieces beneath your belt.
  1. You know what your values and principles are and you know that you are honoring them in your relationships with others (regardless of their perception or judgement of you).
  2. You are conscious of your intention in your interaction with others and you know that it is/was in alignment with your values and principles. (This provides you with the powerful gift of integrity which provides a sense of solidity, strength and peace that is unparalleled in the human experience).
  3. You have the courage and the skills to speak respectfully, clearly, and concisely about what you are feeling and about what you are witnessing in the other person, without taking it on (ie. are you mad at me?), and thus you trust yourself to seek to understand them first, and then to be understood by them (if necessary – I find that often when I truly understand someone else’s intent/thought process that is sufficient for me to let the situation rest).
Because you know what your values and principles are and because you know you acted from your best intention in your interactions with whomever you are relating to, you are not going to feel “bad” or “wrong” or immediately shameful when someone is upset or angry with you. Instead, you will feel a healthy concern for them and for the relationship between you two. You will communicate directly and clearly about what you’re witnessing, you’ll ask questions about what’s going on for the other person, and if you should discover that, unbeknownst to you, you did do something that did not honor your values and principles and did not meet needs for the other person, you’ll offer a full apology: “I am sorry that I….. I understand how that impacted you (here you clearly state your understanding of the impact of your actions so the other person can hear that you really “get it” or so they can clarify if your understanding isn’t full)….I offer you my reassurance that I won’t do that again (if you can make that commitment – if not, be honest about what you can commit to and why)…Is there anything more that you need from me in order to completely step past this?” We offer this apology only when we truly feel that we have compromised our own values and principles and acted from a place that is not our best self. We don’t offer this apology when we acted with integrity and it didn’t meet needs for the other person. In that case we offer a statement like this: “I understand that what I did did not meet needs for X (trust, safety, reliability, friendship, etc.) for you and that you would like some reassurance that I will not do that again. I cannot commit to that. I would like to explain the reason that I did/said what I did/said and see if there is some way that we can both get what we need in ways that feel honoring to us both. Would you be willing to hear my perspective?” What are we going to feel if the other person doesn’t say yes? Well, if we’re solid in our values and principles and the integrity of our actions, we’re going to feel acceptance, “Oh, well, let me know if you’d like to talk about this another time.”  We may feel some degree of sadness that the other is choosing to misunderstand us and that that means our relationship, at least for now, is compromised to some extent. This is not codependence. This is interdependence. If I were to panic, get hooked on having the other person’s approval and understanding, lose sight of my own values and principles and my own sense of the intention of my actions, in favor of this person’s judgement of me, that is co-dependence. To be concerned about the quality of your bond with someone; to want to be understood; to desire to be given the benefit of the doubt; to want others to think fondly of you, is healthy, normal human behaviour. We are pack animals after all. We need each other for our survival, physically and emotionally (less and less intimately, as our society develops, but we need each other nonetheless). Where it turns from healthy concern and interdependence to obsession and co-dependency is when you are willing to compromise your own values and principles and integrity to get someone to like you or to be “happy with you.” Here we have a problem, a big one. This is the place where we will feel anxious most of the time, where we will use food or alcohol or shopping or isolation or procrastination to cope with our feelings of insecurity/anxiety that are triggered by our unmet needs for acceptance and for self-esteem. You see, as long as I am even willing to consider compromising my values and principles (including my self-care) for someone else, I am diminishing my self-esteem, I am deepening my insecurity, and I am actually doing harm to any relationship in which I choose to do that. I am inviting abusive, dysfunctional people into my world. We only feel uneasy or downright anxious/panicked within when we feel that we have needs that aren’t being met. So if we’re anxious about what’s happening in a relationship or what we think someone is thinking/feeling towards us, it is simply an indicator that we have needs in that situation that aren’t being met (they might be in our head or they might be real). We have to ask ourselves what we are telling ourselves about the needs we have that we believe must get met through this person. This is us putting our happiness and our power in someone else’s hands. We must remind ourselves immediately and frequently that there is never just one person who can meet certain needs for us. There is always an option for you to get needs met from more than one person. Our responsibility in relationships with others is to honor our values and principles, and to communicate clearly and respectfully. If it seems someone is upset with us, our responsibility is to check in with ourselves as to whether we can identify something we did/said that compromised our values and principles in this relationship and if we can’t, identify any such action within 10 seconds of introspection, we must trust that our intention was good and that any action on our part that “hurt” someone else was either nothing to do with us at all or an unconscious oversight on our part, ie. an accident, a mistake, and we must forgive ourselves and are entitled to forgiveness from others. We let go any self-judgement and just ask the other person what’s up. (This is easy to do when we are clear in the integrity of our actions, less so when we know we have done something that compromised our values – in this latter situation we go to apology #1). When you know that you honored, to the best of your ability, your values and principles in your actions; when you know that your intention was good and coming from your highest self, you have integrity, you have peace; you have strength within. From this place, you can hear that you inadvertently offended, hurt, angered, frightened someone and you can take full responsibility for that without feeling like you are a bad person, wrong or diminished in any way. Even if it turns out that, unconsciously, you did compromise your values in a certain action, you can take full responsibility and apologize for that without feeling at all diminished or bad. It was a mistake, you did not mean to do it or do it at all consciously. You acknowledge it, you learn from it, and you grow and move on. A healthy interdependent person will offer empathy and compassion, trusting themselves to set clear boundaries about what they need and thus be able to communicate clearly and respectfully about what isn’t feeling okay to them without shame, blame, or rejection.  When you are clear on your values and principles and the intention behind your actions and you seek to understand the intention of others, you will find that any old co-dependent connections either quickly become interdependent ones or fall away and you are left with connections where people are more interested in taking responsibility for themselves and in having a warm and intimate connection with you than they are in controlling you and in being “right.” Values, principles and best intention = Integrity = Peace Have a great week! Love The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with the book, or our Food is Not the Problem Online Membership Program, take action today to have a stress-free relationship with food. Sign up for our free newsletter today (see the left top side of your screen). Newsletter subscribers receive exclusive product discounts and are first in line to get on all the latest new at CEDRIC. © Michelle Morand, 2010

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Self

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Tina’s Relationship with Self: The Drill Sergeant Within

Tina's Relationship with SelfI think that the CEDRIC philosophy works because it is based on good common sense. Our February theme for the Blog and Newsletter is ‘relationships' and in keeping with this all important theme I'm addressing an important relationship with myself . It is vital for us to build a sound relationship with ourselves as well as looking at our relationships with others. Here is a bit of sharing about how I have dealt with my relationship with myself where my 'inner critic' or 'drill sergeant' is concerned. The one component of CEDRIC teachings that rings most true with me at this part of my process is the ‘drill sergeant'. The negative voice that used to taunt me constantly when I was in my weakest hours is quieter now that I have done the work that is necessary to allow myself more nurturing and respect from within, but the change required some effort. That endless negative commentary in the back of our heads wants us to think that it is echoing the conclusions of all who you come in contact with. If you are a person given to worrying about what other's think, it can really get a good hold of your psyche and be leveling when it comes to our trying to remain strong and grounded and take good care of ourselves.

Core Beliefs and the Drill Sergeant - What a relationship there!

When I first began my work at quieting the drill sergeant within, I had to look at the foundation of my self-esteem because that's where the good old Drill Sgt. gets all his material! Core beliefs are just that because they form the nucleus of who we are. What I've learned from exploring the CEDRIC Centre's approach to healing is that most of us who find that life stress sends us running to food to cope have been unconsciously buying into harmful old Core Beliefs. Those beliefs were often imposed on us by people in our past who were responsible for our maturation and development, and we unwittingly accepted those imposed beliefs as law without questioning them and their validity. As children that's impossible to expect of ourselves, we just don't have the awhem with a set of Core Beliefs that accurately portray who we are now.areness, but as adults, we can revisit those old stories we're still carrying and, if we choose, replace them. Imagine driving a car based on what we've been told what others think about driving rather than learning the nuts and bolts of where the ignition is, what the steering wheel does. If we are simply told what to think about driving and then given the keys, we would still be at a loss as to how to make the car function, yet in our daily lives, we accept imposed beliefs much more vital than the information on how vehicles function, as gospel, and then try to function in our lives, basing everything on those old stories. It doesn't work. In my case, I would let that rude drill sergeant berate me about my inability to cope, which made me feel weak, made me tend to falter and before I knew it, that diminishing judgment had become a self-fulfilling prophecy and I would seek to self-anesthetize to keep from feeling like even more of a failure. There's an old maxim I once found in a tea box that was affixed to my fridge door for years. It says ‘If you do what you always done, you get what you always got'. I have learned that this applies so well to the healing process around binging, restricting, purging, drinking and any other form of coping. The CEDRIC program really helps me see that awareness is not enough. While it is a key component of healing, awareness of the problem without new tools for how to deal with it is often more harmful than good because it exposes our pain without showing us how to move through it. Tools for change and the support to change have to be a part of the process we undergo or we wind up spinning our wheels and never achieving a life that is free from thinking one needs escapes at all costs such as eating disorders. So I embraced a bit of change by letting myself become open to new ideas. By addressing my core beliefs, restructuring them to serve me rather than those who were once trying to impose a set of beliefs that would inflict their control upon me, a wondrous thing has happened. I've developed a healthy drill sergeant. In fact, the voice inside me now is so distant from the drill sergeant it is hard to believe it was ever disrespectful or diminishing. The voice I hear inside most of the time now, is not even vaguely related to that judgmental, authoritarian sapper of esteem it once was. Now that I'm clear about what I want to believe about myself; what I know to be true, I have made peace with that harsh internal critic and it's as if this has caused my ‘Drill Sergeant' to turn over a new leaf too. In fact, I was thinking that it's not really descriptive of my internal dialogue to refer to it as such a corporal entity when now my inner voice is one of self-support and nurturing. Sure, when I am feeling overwhelmed, I might try to impose that ‘Drill Sergeant' upon myself as a knee jerk response because that was my prior way of coping, and an old, ingrained habit, but I now recognize the red flag like it's a belled cat and I'm a mouse determined to survive. I head that internal emotional vampire off at the pass, replacing it with my kinder, more benevolent TRUE inner voice, the one that reflects my thoughts and principles TODAY. Hurray! My following this practical philosophy has helped me to become aware of a powerful coping skill that I never knew I had. My natural, healthy internal voice is there now to protect me from external challenges and threats, and if I start hearing more from that critical Drill Sgt. I take it as a sign that I am being triggered by something and need to look at what is going on in my life that might be making me feel fearful or threatened. I really don't have the time or inclination to allow myself to hang out in that scared child place any more and so instead of falling back to my old responses I now acknowledge that I must be dealing with stressors which have put me at the limits of my capacity to cope. My new self quickly interrogates that traitorous internal voice immediately, replacing it with an internal dialogue that mirrors what a good friend's perspective might be on the situation. In Michelle's article, she asks us to explore the foundation, the origin of our beliefs. If I start feeling unimportant, rejected, abandoned, self critical, un-loveable or challenged in my capacity to function, I've learned that I need to take steps to change my response. Those steps include self nurturing and grounding myself by bringing myself into this moment and reminding myself of what I know about myself that I like and admire. Sometimes I do something I know I'm inherently good at. I knit and always have a project on the go, and five minutes alone with it usually reverts my insecure mindset back to a grounded, confident one. I invite you to look at restructuring your Core Beliefs so that they address you now, and as a result, can support you in your healing process. So how about starting with baby steps? Set yourself the intention to have a red flag raise in your mind when you hear the internalized litany of negativity that questions your process or your worth as a human being. Become more aware of that old Drill Sgt. so that you can gently but firmly challenge his old stories and let them go, once and for all. It's a solution that is helping me to make big changes in my life, and I hope that in some small way, reading my experience helps you as well. Namaste, Tina Budeweit-Weeks CEDRIC Web Correspondent

Tina Budeweit-Weeks is a member of the CEDRIC Success Team in the role of staff writer and executive assistant for Michelle Morand. Her philosophy has always been one of self-nurturance and dignity. In support of the complex difficulties clients may experience around regaining a healthy balance, Tina’s writing is designed to sympathize, support, encourage and inform. Although there are many similarities in Tina’s process, she is not a client, but a hard working, behind-the-scenes member of the team, dedicated to helping the CEDRIC Centre stay current and effective.

Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Uncategorized

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