In the last tip, I talked about how you need to stay away from people who are going to give you negative, emotional colds. And I know some of you are saying stuff like, “I can’t, I’m married to her.” Or, “He’s my father! What am I meant to do, not see him anymore?” You’re right. When the person with the negative, emotional cold is a family member or a dear friend, it’s hard just to stay away.
Now you need to learn how to build emotional immunity. It’s better than a vaccine shot, I promise!
First you need to master being aware of these contagious people. Some are easy to spot. When you are around some people, they just drag you down. These people are the complainers, the discouragers, and the people who are hurtful with their criticism. Some people aren’t so easy to recognise. They seem to “mean well” and yet they are fearful, judgmental and each time you are around them you walk away feeling contracted. That’s your sign!
I have a few friends who have mother’s like this. They always seem to be nagging at their daughters about something. Both of my friends have learned to spend a certain amount of time with their mothers then move on.
Practicing these 3 strategies will also help:
- Break the mirror! Your mirror neuron will naturally try and mimic the negative emotions of the other person. Don’t let it. Sit in an opposite way or better yet, stand. If they have a high pitched voice, use a low pitched one. If they talk fast, talk slow. I’m going to warn you, for some people, this will make them mad. They will want to stop being around you. And that’s okay. You don’t have to make your opposite strategy obvious or antagonising, but you do have to look out for your own emotions first. Be relaxed by using the next strategy.
- Put up that barrier! For my clients dealing with toxic people, I suggest putting up a mental shield all around their bodies. In fact, I have them create the shield in a color of their choosing, in a substance of their choosing, and in a feeling of their choosing. When they have their own personal shield made in their minds, I have them practice taking it out around people who are less than pleasant. I have them practice using their shield on the complainers and the discouragers before I have them use it on their family members or close friends. What I want them to imagine is when the other person is spewing their toxic waste, the shield just reflects it back or the spew just slides off the shield and lands on the floor to ooze away from the environment. This imaging is amazingly helpful. You just have to promise not to laugh. I had one client with such a vivid imagination, her shield was sending toxic waste all over the house she was in and my client laughed about the mess that needed to be cleaned up. No one understood what she was talking about except her.
- Stay on your happiness path! At this stage, it isn’t your job to help the other person. It isn’t your job to coach them to change. The number one rule of being a coach is that you never start coaching until you’ve been hired! You haven’t been hired so just leave them be in their negative, emotional flu. Be the model that they can refer to when THEY are ready. As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher arrives. They don’t yet accept being a student so just let them be.
Your happiness challenge for this week is to practice breaking the mirror, creating and using your shield, and remaining on your happiness path. Remember to practice even if that friend or family member isn’t around. Use other negative people (remember – the ones that got the #1 from the last post) to practice on. The more you practice the better prepared you’ll be for the EBOLA person in your life.
To your happiness,