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Part III
How to create inner peace when you are engaged in difficult interactions with others

In the last segment I gave an example of being in a conversation with someone where you didn’t feel heard or acknowledged for who you were and I brought up some points of interest from people who have been getting caught up in these types of interactions and have been left with feelings of frustration and hurt.

We then looked at what you might be needing deeper within that you may have been unsure about expressing both to yourself and to others and how to get clear on getting your needs met by confronting your own inner dialogue and beliefs.

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In this segment we will be exploring and walking you through a few dialogues and situations that might come up for you and how to work with them. And, at a deeper level looking at how to explore within yourself what these conversations and interactions may be asking you to pay attention to within so you know how to take care of yourself and not take others’ behaviour so personally.

Let us take an example of being in a conversation with someone who is not really listening to you. Let’s imagine that this person is more interested in talking about their needs and what they are feeling and wanting and not leaving space for you to share what you are feeling, needing and also wanting. And, we will look at a conversation where this person may be putting you down subtly in some way or blaming you for something and you are aren’t finding an opening in the conversation.

With the following examples, notice if you have ever been in similar situations and how you can work with it in a way that is caring and fair to both of you.

A person you aren’t particularly close with:

Let’s suppose you are engaged in a conversation with someone with whom you aren’t particularly close with. Maybe they are a shop owner or a neighbour and they are talking at you instead of with you:

If the person you are engaged with in the moment is someone you don’t have an emotionally invested relationship with, you could simply say, “I’m feeling that I need to go now and finish such and such” or, “would you mind if we continued this conversation in another moment because I need to get back to work now”, or, “I need to leave now and get going”, or whatever you plan to do.

A person that you have an emotional connection with and you feel challenged: 

If though, this is a typical scenario with this person with whom you are emotionally connected and you feel unheard and un-acknowledged, you may want to state your truth gently and let this person know that your connection to her or him feels emotionally challenging for you. You could say something to the effect of “you know Tom, whenever we speak, I often feel that I am not being heard and I feel unseen by you. Would you be willing to speak about what might be happening for you when we are together?” Or you could say, “Tom, I’m feeling disconnected from you as you are speaking and I’m not feeling you are leaving me any space so that I can also share and it makes me feel bad like I’m not being seen. Do you feel open and willing to take some time with me to speak about what might be happening for you or between us?”

You need to ask this person in the moment when the situation is happening so that they can observe him or herself and feel into what might be happening for them.

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If this is an interaction with a partner, friend or family member that is usually negatively challenging for you:

If this is a closer relationship with a friend, partner or a family member and their behaviour towards you is usually discounting where you are feeling unseen and uncared for or if they are judging or blaming you, then you need to speak up in the moment and let them know that this is hurtful and you will be happy to come back and re-engage in the conversation when both of you are feeling open and willing to learn with one another about the situation.

You might say something like:  “Tom, I’m feeling blamed/discounted/put down and I understand you are upset and angry. Would you be willing to open and learn with me about what might be happening for you and between us so that we can find a way to resolve this that is in both our highest good or good for both of us?”   

OR

“Sandra, I’m feeling blamed and/or judged by you and this feels so unfair to me. Right now I’m needing to disengage until we can both come back and speak about this when you are in a better place.” And then you need to walk gently away and take compassionate care of your feelings. This is the only way your inner feelings (Inner Child) will feel heard and witnessed by you. Taking care of yourself in this way may be the complete opposite to what people in society do and what you may have learned growing up.

If the interaction is with someone close to you and they are open:

If your friend or family member seems ready to open their heart and connect with you in a way that is mutually respectful to both of you, then allow yourself to take a deep breath and honour your feelings internally and then express what you are experiencing as best you can without judging and blaming the other person or judging and blaming yourself. You will notice how good it feels to be able to express your needs and feelings authentically.

Standing up for oneself in any kind of interaction isn’t always easy but what you will find is that the more comfortable you are in yourself and present to what you are needing, the easier it becomes to not go into blame and judgement towards yourself or others.

In Part IV  I write about my own experience that was connected with an inner belief I held about myself. At the base of these difficult interactions, there is usually some kind of limiting belief that is creating the discomfort between you and others.

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