Feeling attacked? Try this little trick to put a stop to it

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.

Why numbers SHOULD mean sweet FA

I bet that as an anxious person you find the thought of hitting a certain number kind of terrifying. You may have to have achieved a certain number of sales in a month, or you may need to make a certain number of phone calls each day. Whatever it is that you need to achieve, put a number on it and it makes us nervous types a drivelling mess.

And what is worse is the fact that we live in a society that is driven by numbers. Even in a social context, we feel like we have to have more likes and Facebook friends than the next person, and if we don’t then we are just a downright failure. But should we really be putting so much emphasis on hitting high numbers? I personally don’t think it’s necessary and here’s why.

I think that the best leaders in the world are those that don’t micromanage their staff. A leader who comes down hard on every employee who doesn’t hit their target isn’t really a leader at all. They are a tyrant at best. A real leader will look at what can be improved and why something isn’t working. Instead of blaming the individual who didn’t perform they will look to see if there is something that can be changed culturally.

This is why I think that there is a lot of power in being a really sensitive manager. Somebody who is more empathetic is far more likely to focus less on the numbers and more on the people. People aren’t motivated by being shouted at and intimidated. They want to work in a place where they are appreciated and where they want their manager to be proud of them. This is achieved by giving them time and energy and building trust.

So, I would say that far more important than focusing on numbers we should be looking to build communities and relationships that are based on trust and common interest. We need to look more at the impact that we are having on people rather than the immediate numbers that are being generated by our efforts.

If we look at the greatest influencer in history, Jesus, we can see that he wasn’t all about healing as many people as possible. He could have healed far more in his life time, but instead he used his short time in ministry to have a huge impact that kept on multiplying well after he was gone. Surely this is what we should be aiming for in our work too?

So let’s start modelling our behaviour in the workplace on Jesus. You don’t even have to be a churchgoer to see the value in following his model. And next time you find yourself panicking that a blog post hasn’t hit your normal level of views or likes, remember that you are working towards a larger goal. People may quietly be devouring your work and talking about it to friends and further down the line it will pay off. Don’t sell out and do something just for the views. Be a good person and look after your people and the rest will follow, even if it is just smiles and laughter and happiness. After all, it’s not all about the money!

Bonus Poem

Look out for those within your tribe,

And don’t resort to con or bribe.

You want to build a thing that runs the race,

That doesn’t end up losing pace.

Numbers, targets, the odd sale,

Will only lead to a whopping fail.

So teach and love and make a friend or two,

And watch what happens when you do.

Focus on yourself, not others.

People, places and things. Something that you learn very early on in recovery from addiction is that you cannot control any of these things, no matter how hard you try. And this piece of advice wouldn’t go amiss in other areas of our lives.

Sometimes when you are trying to make it as a successful entrepreneur you will find that people don’t do the things that you wanted them to or expected to do. And this can throw a spanner in the works if you are trying to build something that is going to be a success and sustainable. And of course, you have to watch trends develop and understand how people tick if you are going to make something that is lasting, but you also can’t let it get to you every time something doesn’t go your way.

When I was drinking in an unhealthy way, a lot of the reasons behind it were that I just couldn’t handle people not doing the things that I wanted or needed them to do. It wasn’t because I was a bad person, or because I wanted to control them; it was because I had so little confidence in myself that I couldn’t handle it if I didn’t know, with absolute certainty, what the outcome was going to be. I would actually freak out and lose the plot which is not the ideal reaction when you are trying to lead and inspire!

As I’ve gone through my recovery, I’ve realised that people are funny and unpredictable things. There is no way that we can say, with any certainty, that they will be on board with our own ideas. The key to being successful is in being able to focus on yourself rather than everybody else around you.

You need to remember that everyone else around you has their own agendas and hopes and dreams and just because they let you down, it doesn’t mean that they no longer care about you. This can be a really hard thing for sensitive people to grasp, but it is essential if you want to make your own way in the world.

I would crumble every time that somebody so much as disagreed with my point of view, which was never going to get me very far. In fact, it only led to addiction and misery. So here are my top tips on how to stop yourself from going down that rabbit hole that I found myself in:

  • Take on board what people have to say and show respect if it differs to your own opinion. By arguing back you only make situations escalate into an emotional mess.
  • If somebody is getting a bit aggressive about a differing opinion, just back away. They are the ones that are stewing in anger and feeling uncomfortable. If you have the class and the self control to just walk away while someone is hammering you with abuse, guess what? You’re the one that comes out looking better.
  • Try to remember a time that you last had a bad day and remember how you felt. Now tell yourself that the person being horrible is having a day even worse than that. You don’t know if they’ve had an argument with their other half or scraped their car on the way to work. Anything could have riled them up and you have nothing to do with it!
  • Focus on your own goals. There are seven billion people in the world and just because one of them wants to be negative about where you are going it doesn’t mean that everyone else will be.
  • And most importantly, if someone is doing better than you, the same rules apply. Congratulate that person on their success and then focus on your own work. Never be nasty or bitter, because you’d want people to be nice about your own successes. Remember that you can learn from these people and they might end up being useful friends to have further down the line.

So, really, the point that I want to push more than anything is that I want to encourage people to be nice and lift others up if they are doing will. No more bitching and backstabbing and if someone directs that behaviour towards you, you are free to back away.

And a lot of the people that I hope are reading this are the sensitive type and I know how much of a slave we can be to our feelings. But remember that we are not a sum or our feelings. Acknowledge that a person has made you feel shitty and then move on rather than sit and stew in it. It’s not helpful for you mental health or your future success. You deserve so much more so concentrate on all the good things in your life and all the wonderful things that are going to happen. Everyone else is just running their own race and you need to do the same.

Don’t feel passionate about anything? Try this….

Whenever you read a self help book or watch an inspirational speaker, one of the first things that they tell you is to find something that you’re passionate about. They tell you that if you want to be REALLY successful you have to find something that sets your heart on fire and will keep you interested. But what happens if you’ve taken a few knocks in life and you don’t know where your passion lies? What happens if you feel completely lost and can’t even begin to think about what you like and what you want to do? There are so many of us out there that have this worry but there are ways to deal with it.

feeling lost? the truth is that most of us are

If you are anything like me then you will feel the panic rising in your stomach every time you hear someone tell you to do something that you feel passionate about. But instead of panicking about it and then drinking yourself into a stupor or falling into the deepest darkest depths of depression, why not try some of these exercises and see what they pull up.

  • Try reframing the question “what are you passionate about?” It’s so easy to hear the word ‘passionate’ and worry that you don’t care enough about where you are going in life. These words are highly emotive and designed to fire up certain personality types. People who are naturally a bit more introverted would probably be best asking questions like “what are your hobbies?” or “what do you find enjoyable?” This is far less in your face but also far less intimidating for us quieter types.
  • Try to keep in mind that not everyone has a cause that they would fight to the death for. It’s OK to just bob along with the flow. This is especially the case if you are recovering from addiction or mental illness. You need to be gentle with yourself and giving yourself some lofty goal isn’t always the best way forward.
  • If you do want to look more closely at what floats your boat, then write a list of all the things you enjoy and take the money making element out of it. Don’t worry if you enjoy crochet while carp fishing. Do that for fun and you never know, the better you get at it the more likely you are to find a community and that could lead to a money making enterprise further down the road.
  • Think about what you enjoyed when you were six. Often, as we get older we start to think that the things we wanted to do when we were really small are stupid. I wanted to be a clown when I was six and now people would think I was nuts if I told them that was my life goal. BUT, if you look at how much children’s entertainers charge for one hour on a Saturday afternoon you start to think that actually six year old me was probably a bit more savvy than I first thought. The things we wanted to do when we were children are normally really closely aligned with our personality types (and would therefore be something we could potentially become passionate about). So go back to that wacky list of jobs and just see if anything comes out of it.
  • Get out and try new things. When your confidence is low or your really sensitive this can be so hard but you will never get anywhere without pushing yourself. I always dread going to new social things, but people are nearly always welcoming, especially if you look a bit lost and nervous. Trying out these new things then leads to doors being opened. You never know who you’re going to be sitting next to and what they could offer you in the future. Just try chatting to these people. Let them know you’re nervous. There’s nothing shameful in letting people know that!

Most importantly, have fun finding what your ‘passion’ is. There shouldn’t be a tonne of pressure on you to find out what you enjoy. Life is supposed to be a journey and there aren’t many journeys that go in a straight line. Enjoy the process of wandering up some dead ends, finding out that some things just don’t work for you. Nobody is laughing at you if you ‘pick wrong’ on your first go. You can always go back and pick up on the road that you left off.

The dating pool

So I started dating again and it’s not really going to well.

I didn’t really know what to write about today because I want to be positive and things are a bit shitty at the moment. So I thought I’d write a bit about my romantic life because it would probably give people a bit of hope. And when I say that, I mean that it will give them hope because at least they’re not as tragic as me.

So, I never had a boyfriend while I was growing up. I was seriously into swimming so every moment of my free time was spent at the pool training for my next competition. My first boyfriend (and only one) was my now ex-husband who I think only married me so that he could come to live in the UK. But I did fall in love with him and I fell in love hard. It’s a common theme in my life that whenever I fall for something or someone, I go a little bit crazy. I liked swimming and I ended up swimming the Channel, I like running and I ended up running 100 mile races. I think that you get the picture; I always take things to excess.

Anyway, I was with him for two years and when I found out that he was having an affair it crushed me to the point where I picked up a drink and never put it down again. Fast forward ten years and I still hadn’t really gotten over the pain and the destruction that it caused but I slowly started to dip my toe back into the pool again and I tried that wondrous thing called online dating. Wo! That shit is crazy.

My first attempt was one date and then he disappeared. I think I may have got really drunk and I could possibly have been sick in the bathroom so I’m sure that could have had something to do with the radio silence from his end. The second round, I made it to the second date. This time I think I had an existential crisis on him and started banging on about my bad career choices and how I didn’t know where the fuck I was going in life. Oh, and I took him for the second date to the place where I worked so I was asking for trouble there.

There were also hopeless crushes on horribly inappropriate people that all ended disastrously, mainly because I would drink and then get on Facebook and be a dick. I found that while I was drinking I had zero humility and, of course, I was always right.

Since getting sober I really hope that I’m a nicer person and so I decided to try again and still I just can’t seem to figure it out. Again, I managed to get to the second date and again I had so many expectations in my mind. I obviously didn’t tell him any of this but I had already picked out the dress and the venue for the wedding and I knew where we would live. I think that perhaps I send subliminal messages because they all seem to run away from me as fast as they can. And it’s really crushing.

And that’s where I wanted to take this post. I’m absolutely hopeless with men, but does anyone else struggle to mend their aching heart after two whole dates? This guy turned me down in the nicest possible way and yet I felt like I had gone through a divorce. The sense of rejection was so enormous that I thought I might buckle under the strain. I have even said that I will have to give myself another six month break before I have another go, or else it might lead to some sort of mental breakdown where I end up running through the streets in a state of undress.

Online dating has become like shopping on Amazon and it’s so cold and clinical. We click the person, agree to meet, and if we think we can do better we send it back. There must be other people out there that have struggled with this too. It’s literally too much for me to take. But then what is the alternative?

I’m going to propose that us sensitive singles unite and form some sort of group where we can all just talk about our feelings after a date and build each other up. Perhaps we could have a group on facebook to help with the crushing disappointment. We’d be like the antidote to online dating; the band aid that needs to be slapped onto that wound when he says that he thinks he could do better than you.

I think that building each other up is the only way to get over a disappointment. And dating creates the messiest of disappointments because you’re letting someone in so close that it can feel like they have burnt your skin when they pull away. I need that closeness of someone but not the pain so I’d like a group of happy people around me so that I can get caught next time I have no choice but to fall.

Much love

Rachel xx