I know that people who tend to be even the tiniest bit on the sensitive side can struggle with the feelings of being under attack. You do something wrong at work; you feel like your boss is attacking you over it for the next month. You can’t meet a friend for lunch; you feel like they are attacking you for being a bad friend. You can’t help out a colleague by covering a shift; you feel like they are being spiteful towards you for weeks afterwards. The list can go on and on. So how do you put an end to it without being an absolute bitch and losing your cool?
There are a tonne of different techniques that you can use ranging from meditation through to going into a bathroom and crying about it for ten minutes. Some are good and some are not so good. But this one is a brilliant way to cut the person down immediately without the need to be horrible in return.
The technique is really very simple and it’s all about repetition. Repetition is such a powerful technique in so many situations and this is no exception. Just think about it for a moment. If you repeat an action over and over, it gets learned and you become an expert. If you use repetition in a speech you really drive your point forward. If you repeat a mantra to yourself then you can really end up believing what you are telling yourself.
Now think what effect it has on someone who is attacking you. Many people who resort to attack are feeling emotional and they are not thinking about what they are saying. They are on autopilot. And it’s very easy for you to get sucked into the same trap, say something mean back to them and then you find that you’re both engaged in a meaningless war of words.
If you just slow down and ask the person to repeat what they said you will be amazed by what effect it has on them. I recently had a co-worker tell me that I had done half of my job wrong when I had missed one task that I was supposed to do. Instead of flying into a rage and arguing that point, I just told her that I wasn’t sure that I’d heard her properly and could she please repeat what she had said. She IMMEDIATELY took back what she had said because she was repeating it in her mind and realising just how much she had exaggerated. It worked a treat.
Now this only works if you then just let it go. You can’t then carry on and on at the person about how they had been making things up and outright lying and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You have to know when to pick your battles and when someone has dropped it you need to learn to also drop it. You probably won’t get an apology but at least you have stopped the ear bashing in its tracks.
Try it next time someone starts to harp on at you about something that’s really not necessary. It won’t work all of the time but it’s a good way to stop things escalating when emotions are starting to bubble. I’d love to hear if it works for any of you?
Have a great day and remember to be nice to people and love your life because it’s the only one that you’re going to be given.