Posts Tagged 'being respected'

Are You Involved with a Dangerous Person?

wolf in sheeps clothing cartoon

You have had some painful experiences.  You suffered narcissistic abuse from a partner or you were targeted by a bully at work.   You didn’t see the warnings.   As is so often the case, this person treated you especially well at the start, and turned up the heat so slowly you barely noticed it.

Added to that, there’s a better than average chance that you grew up being taught to ignore bad behavior, tolerate boundary violations, and maybe coached to ignore your fears and worries.  There may have been conflicts explained away as,  “nothing to be afraid of.”   Perhaps obvious violations were denied, with, “your cousin would never do that!”     Your feelings could have been minimized with arguments like, “you don’t really hate your sister!”

However badly others tried to bend your reality and no matter how well meant they were, the good news is this:  your perceptions are still intact and probably very highly refined.

I’ve never met a target of abuse or bullying who didn’t have a very well tuned sensitivity to others, ranging to acute intuitive abilities.  You have exactly the skills you need to identify potentially dangerous relationships.

You just need to apply those perceptual skills and trust them!

Much of the time, it is really quite simple to identify a person who is dangerous to be around.  Good relationships feel good.  Bad relationships do not feel good.  If you frequently feel bad around a person, that is probably not a good relationship for you.

If you frequently feel bad around many people, it’s probably due to your own “stuff.”  The rule is still quite simple.  If you feel bad around someone, more than usual, or more than you do around anyone else, question why you would spend any more time with this person.

In personal interactions this is quite easy.  If you feel bad about the interactions, or confused by the behavior, shake the dust from your feet.  Move on.  It will not get better.

In professional interactions, this is not not always so easy.  You may find you are able to work quite well with someone you do not especially like, if the interaction is respectful.  On the other hand, you may, at least in the short run, have to work with someone who is very toxic.  Still, if a particular person causes you pain, start looking for ways to get out of the situation.

Those of us who have found most relationships painful, may argue that this is not realistic, but here is another bit of good news:  Good relationships are not particularly painful.

Good relationships are available, but you may not have held out for them if you don’t think they are possible.  If you wonder about this, watch for my next post which will give you reassurance that safe and rewarding relationships exist.

Interaction with the Enlightened

The 1st Dalai Lama

When I coach people, I tend to learn only about their interactions with people who are aggressive, abusive, or just plain weird.   But there are those who have enlightened interactions with others and we can cheer and encourage ourselves by appreciating such people and modeling ourselves after them.  Most of us can cite someone who has made us feel singularly special and understood.

At the very pinnacle of enlightened interaction, in my book, is the Dalai Lama.  Do a Google search on images of “Dalai Lama with…” and see him with various important people.   Of course, there’s his beaming, joyful face, but what’s really fun is the looks on the faces of those around him.

Here is George W. who looks solemn and uncomfortable even at baseball games, for heaven’s sake.  But this is a different George W.  He is grinning from ear to ear and the smile extends to his eyes and body language.  He’s very much enlightened by the Dalai Lama’s interactions.  These photos give me great hope.

Now see His Holiness with the Prince of Wales.  Charlie’s British aristocracy has slipped askew like an ill fitting hat.  He is as red in the face as a newborn and his smile is broad enough to show his molars!

Oh, my goodness! The Dalai Lama is holding Charlie’s hand! What is going on here?  Something in these interactions seems to cheer these people and cut through the B.S. in short order, so we see them as their mothers probably saw them.

After half a century of keeping a stiff upper lip, the Prince of Wales would not completely thaw within fifteen minutes unless … well … unless he felt safe;  unless he felt respected; unless he felt that someone was relating to him on a profoundly personal level!

Clearly, the enlightened interaction occurs in the present moment and the other person must be feeling accepted and loved or he wouldn’t be grinning like that.  But I accept and love people all the time and they rarely react so positively! What is the difference?

Consider what the Dalai Lama is not doing in his interactions.  I’m just making a guess here but I’m willing to bet my IRA that His Holiness is not even a little bit concerned about what other people think of him.  (He’s wearing an orange flowing outfit in the land of somber business suits, after all.  And he’s not wearing a two foot high mitre to make himself look imposing, either.)

If an important state leader flinched when the lama reached out to hold his hand with interlaced fingers, I’m willing to bet the lama did not take it personally any more that you would take it personally when a child resists your overtures.

If a head of state looked grumpy when first meeting the Dalai Lama, I’m quite sure the lama did not think, “Oh no!  I can tell he doesn’t like me.”

I believe the joy in these interactions results from one person being totally present for another.  This presence precludes self consciousness and allows one to truly see who the other person is.  When I am able to practice really being here in the moment with another, my interactions are  much more rewarding.  To what little degree I have learned to be present, I experience a bit of the magic of an enlightened interaction.

I’m hardly in a position to fully understand someone like the Dalai Lama.  But I think that being  profoundly present with another person, in the moment, allows a connection with the essence of that person.  Connecting in that way is love and it feels wonderful, I know!  Just look at George grin!

Where are Your Boundaries?

“…Good fences make good neighbors… Robert Frost

Even in the land of the free, too many people are not really free mentally and emotionally. Many of us are controlled by others in subtle ways and brainwashed by the media to subscribe to others’ opinions and values (or lack thereof.)  When controlled by the opinions, definitions, criticism and anger of family members, bosses or partners, the results can be trauma, confusion and lack of energy.

Most systems of spirituality offer paths to the goal of liberating and actualizing the individual’s core self and teach that we create our experience with our spirits and energy. Some of these teach that the very reason we are here is to learn these things. Yet too many of us cannot create what we truly want because the energy of our thoughts and feelings is full of other people’s ideas and opinions. We may not even know what really makes us happy.

Advertisements convince us we should want certain kinds of bodies, houses, clothes, and relationships.  As a result, we bypass the true desires of our hearts and pursue shallow goals which are difficult to accomplish because they are not truly our own.  Relationships we see in the media are all about one upmanship. Communications are peppered with put downs and those who complain are “too sensitive.”

You can opt out of this behavior and take your power back. It involves strategies many of us have never been taught for maintaining personal boundaries, keeping your mental space clear and letting your authentic self shine forth.

When personal boundaries are created it becomes much easier to see which thoughts and feelings are your own and which have been foisted upon you by others.

A simple first step is to learn where your boundaries are- or should be. Simply look at what is acceptable treatment by others and what treatment would you prefer NOT to experience. The only rule for this determination is that you should like your boundaries.

Perhaps you would prefer that people in your life be punctual and keep their commitments with you. Maybe you think that your friends ought to be able to distinguish you in their minds from their other friends. Perhaps it is okay for your children to help themselves to your property but not for your in-laws. Possibly you are okay with people swearing around you but never swearing at you.

Wherever you set your boundaries is fine as long as they are yours. It helps to imagine these boundaries in space, like a bubble that surrounds your body. Where are they? Do they give you room to spread your arms? Imagine your boundaries have sharply defined edges, but are clear and allow you to see and be seen.

Now you can begin to ask trespassers to back off when they cross your boundaries.  You may need to limit your interaction with those who disrespect you. If you focus on these boundaries for as little as a minute every day, you will soon see a difference in how others interact with you and the enlightened way you interact with them.

You can also make sure you are honoring other people in the ways you choose to be respected.

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