So, it seems that I don’t deal terribly well with confrontation. My mother tells me I get upset and semi hysterical too easily. In my defence, the instance she is talking about was an incredibly sensitive and distressing topic to me, and we’ve both been so stressed out lately with all the legal stuff anyway.
But yes, OK, this is something I need to work on. I can remember a few other situations (once with a psychologist and once with a GP, both when I was going through marriage counselling and complex marriage issues) where instead of dealing with the unexpected and unwanted piece of advice I either just broke down and wanted to disappear, or I got somewhat aggressively defensive. It’s the stress that people just don’t understand me or my situation…… I opened myself up way more than I’m comfortable with because that’s what I needed to do to get help, and then they matter-of-factly say something completely against my firm held beliefs and I just feel under threat.
So more appropriate ways of dealing with such situations would be,
- to first of all stay calm. I’m OK. I’m not being attacked. Maybe this person doesn’t quite understand, or is not giving me the advice I am looking for. Maybe they have no idea what they are talking about. But that is ok. I still have control over my own choices.
- Listen carefully make sure I understand clearly what message the person is trying to get across to me. Then acknowledge that I understand this message. If I don’t understand, politely ask them to clarify.
- to acknowledge my strong feelings and try to work out what they are saying to me.
- Remaining calm, try to explain to the person what my feelings are saying.
- If I am feeling threatened by a question-ask the person to clarify or explain the question better. If I feel that the question is irrelevant explain that (calmly).
If I can work on this, I should be able to deal better with smaller scale conflicts and misunderstandings with my kids too. I want to set a really good example to them.
Perhaps instead of creating a new post, when I have issues with confrontation/conflict I should write about them in the comments section of this post. That way I can track my progress. And perhaps I should do the same with other topics, like making sure I really connect with my kids daily. I still have to work out how I am going to use this blog. But at the moment I’m just going to play it by ear and see how it goes.