Are you living an authentic life in which you process your emotions as they come up? Or, do you let things simmer under the surface where they await the most inopportune time to blow things out of proportion and embarrass you?
I’ve been there–too many times.
Our emotional experiences begin with a thought. If we are having an unpleasant emotional experience, we can trace it back to some thought we have had–even though the thought may be subconscious or hidden from our knowing mind. If we have “stuffed and stewed” in a situation (having not said anything while feeling the need to be heard), the thought gains power to influence us. Discord that pulls us out of alignment with our authentic self, which is loving and peaceful.
Holding a grudge does no one any good. Clear and loving communication can resolve many issues–especially if you ask your guides for help with the effort before you begin the conversation. Conflict resolution is much about setting boundaries. Although you may have to remove yourself from a situation or physically detach from someone who will not respect your boundaries, this doesn’t mean putting up walls around your heart. You can choose to never have another encounter with someone and still love them from afar.
Setting boundaries means clearly stating what is okay and what is not okay in regards to how you want to be treated or spoken to. You have to be consistent in your response and holding your ground. If you say some behavior or treatment is not okay and someone does that very thing to test you, you will have to speak up again and again until that person understands that you will not tolerate this behavior from them.
Start in a gentle and non-accusatory manner so as not to intentionally provoke the “offender.” Sometimes clear communication in a loving tone of voice is all that’s needed to rectify a situation. With some folks, though . . . you may have to increase your assertiveness each time you reiterate your boundary. Body language and tone of voice speaks as loud as your verbal communication. Be firm, but not passive-aggressive. If you want someone to understand what you want or need, you have to say it. Don’t leave the person guessing what you want or need from them. If you do, you will likely be disappointed with their mind-reading abilities.
Make sure that the story you are telling yourself about this person or situation is accurate. People serve as mirrors to us. They may project their fears, opinions, or self-worth (or lack thereof) onto us. By the same token, they can reflect to us what we are projecting onto them. Setting boundaries through clear communication ends projection and accusation. Each person gains a clear picture of the other and of one’s self. This gives us an opportunity to improve that area of our life/thinking.
For more information about boundary setting, see chapter 10 of my book, Whose Stuff Is This? or schedule a coaching session with me.