emotional fitness thoughts
Efforts to be protective of people’s feelings and to end the in your face mean stuff was the good motive behind the political correctness movement. The hope was to prevent conflict by asking others to watch their tongues. The hope was to create a more peaceful world. The most compelling hope was to protect children, but these good intentions but made many roads rockier and treacherous. How?By taking the power to feel good about the self away from the individual and putting it in outside hands. This had two negative outcomes:
- We have not been trained to deflect the slings and arrows thrown at us by meaner people.
- Conflict and blaming has replaced self-care and responsiblity.
Think for a minute about which of these remarks would upset you the most:
- You are a three-headed Martian.
- The issue is not black or white.
- Glad you got your hair cut, it looks great?
The first would probably make you think the person was joshing you or crazy. You most likely shrug it off.
The second got me in trouble as a professor. Some students thought if was a racist remarked and complained to my boss. If you are red, white, or yellow, you probably think that a bit crazy; if you are brown or black you will think it racist depending on what you had been taught at home or in your culture. Hopefully, if you knqw me at all, you would not think I was a racist, not matter what or how you interpreted those words.
The third might or might not be sarcastic, how upset it will make you depends on the context and the relationship with the speaker. I might or might not have the urge to throw something at my husband if he said that to me. Someone less important to me saying the same would merit raised eyebrows and probably a bit of a sarcastic “Why thank you.”
Complicated isn’t it. Well, yes. People are complicated and put two together and it gets more complicated. Moreover, as many point out, we have a number of people within our personal self. The inner child therapists make a big do do about who lives in our psyche.
I like the approach of the Transactional Analysis People. These believe our feelings and behaviors respond to five inner voices, what they call ego states. Those five?
- A nurturing parent,
- A critical parent
- An adult – reason based
- A free child
- An adapted child
Get two people together and you have at least ten people involved. What to do? Read my tips. If you are a parent or otherwise interacting lots with children, keep these in mind as something to model and teach directly.
Emotional Fitness Training Tips
Emotional Fitness Tip One: Remember who has the problem. If your feelings are hurt, the problem is 99% yours. Then it is best to ask which of your inner voices is taking the hurt in and amplifying it. You need deaden that voice and develop a stronger protective shield. Any one of EFTI’s self-soothing exercises can help you build better armor against such hurts.
If someone has attacked you physical, the hurt is yours, but most of the problem is theirs.
What about provocateurs? Those that want and excuse to attach you. We see that on the news almost every day. Those are the ones who curse you, give you the finger, spit in someone’ s face, throw stuff at you or damage your property. They want you to act badly as I have discussed in a parenting post How to Win A Gotcha War. Not responding with hostility makes you the victor. Of course, if physical assault is looming, then you might need to get physical which is why I wish karate was taught in all schools, but only by Peace Dojos.
Emotional Fitness Tip Two: Rate the hurt. Rating scales are important Emotional Fitness Tools. Physical hurt is a 10, threat of physical hurt a 9, damaging your property an 8, threatening to damage property a 7; name-calling, lies about you or sarcasm a 6, true criticism shared thoughtlessly a 5, true criticism shared kindly a four. Below 4, no hurt felt.
Emotional Fitness Tip Three: Act wisely. Rating the hurt allows you to decide how to act. Acting wisely means:
- Protecting yourself with force if necessary, but as little force as needed to stay safe.
- Having a protective shell that keeps all hurts rated at a 5 or above from doing unnecessary damage to your inner selves and that generally involves letting go and practicing forgiveness.
- Deciding if you how best to deal with hurts above a 5. That may involve getting the law involved, physically distancing from the person, asking the person to change, getting more support for yourself, getting some therapy to strengthen you.
The three tips when taught to children in an age appropriate way deflect the intentional and not intentional emotional spears and rocks that are part of every child’s life. Here’s a quick look at age and stage considerations.
Birth until the child is reading: work on comfort skills. first comfort in your lap and with your hugs. Next step teach calming breathe a type of meditations. Frame time-outs as calming down and thinking time; always remind the child that s/he is loved even when not yet able to do all the right things.
Child who can read until rebellion of puberty sets in: are better able to use reasoning skills, but mostly about what has experienced personally in one way or another, cannot think like an adult or think about more than one or two things at a time. Keep things simple. Also help develop tools for boosting self-image; those can range from caring for a pet, any form of crafting, and non-competitive sports such as swimming or hiking for pleasure. Down play competitive sports. Also good to have child learn karate from a Peace Dojo for being able to both avoid conflict and defend yourself from physical attack boosts self-esteem more than most other skills.
The rebellion of puberty and after: Teens often have a need to argue and provoke and ti engage in what I call Gotcha Wars. Bring your protective shield in to play, debate issues but insist such debates be respectful.
When the hurt is at a 5 or above, acting wisely is difficult; protective shields help, but not unless deliberately developed. EFIT’s 12 Easy Exercises promote deliberate development of internal protective shields. Work on your shield and if you are involved in any way with children help them develop theirs.
EFTI business announcement: I am going to merge my Parents Are People Too Blog with this blog. As with this post, I will add a few paragraphs of parenting advice about the posts main topic. Until both blogs are merged, I am going to reblog another’s parenting information at least once a week, but most likely will not be creating any lengthy posts on my own for Parents Are People Too.
As I age, I need to concentrate my efforts a bit more. I am sure you will understand.
As always thank you for reading, liking, commenting, or sharing. Your acts of kindness nourish you, me, and others.
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Transactional Analysis (en.wikipedia.org)
- Create Calm in Your Life
- What is a peace dojo (aiki-extensions.org)
- Move like a ghost – a self defense tool (ninjaselfdefense.com)
- The Deconstruction of Reality (transparencynow.com)
- 12 Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (emotionalfitnesstraining.com)
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
WORD PRESS DAILY POST PROMPT
Blog post inspired by this Word Press DAILY PROMPT: Why, Thank You? What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?
Browse the products at the EFTI store and get a free digital downloads of a poster coach. Print it up on card stock and post it where you will see it and inspire you to stay strong.