Hurting phrases: how to take them?
Author: Anastasia Colvin,, University of practical psychology
Now I already know how to take hurtful phrases calmly. My friends envy me this, and I'm ready to tell you how I learned it. Yes, it was not easy, but there is a fact: I learned it, and there is a method for this. I can tell you about it. I'm telling you!
At the University of Practical Psychology, we meet and share our successes. Oddly enough, this is not always such a simple thing, and you also need to learn how to talk about your success in a way that people understand, are interested, and are happy about. And the requirements for the story increase every time... And once again, when I so wanted to share my joy, the host interrupts me: "Nastya, listen to yourself: do these phrases seem successful to you?". Well, Yes, the comment was on the case, and the phrase is likely to seem normal to you: what's wrong with it? But for me, it sounded like this:"I'm being scolded, I'm being criticized, only I'm being interrupted, I'm performing poorly, I'm not being proud of, I'm a bad girl." I blushed, my chest tightened, I couldn't stand it and burst into tears.
When I came to my senses, I decided to ask the host: "Your comments are very useful and valuable. But when I hear them during a performance, I get lost. Could you please give them at the end?" With this text already prepared, I was going to go to the next meeting. But then I thought, " Stop! After all, such situations often happen to me. They happen in other places and with different text, so I need to solve the situation not only here, with my host, I need to change my reaction to such phrases!»
After analyzing it, I found such a chain:
I am told a critical (in my opinion) remark – the body shrinks – squeezes the chest – the body feels tension and wants to get rid of it – I cry – the body relaxes – everything is fine again.
"What if I stop myself from shrinking and straining during criticism? It's possible, isn't it? If I can teach the body a new reaction, the chain will look like this:
I am told a critical comment – the body is relaxed – I take it calmly and continue the conversation.
I brought my thoughts to the next meeting, and our rector, the magnificent Nikolai Ivanovich, supported me. "Who is ready to help Nastya train herself for such a reaction to criticism?" Thanks to the incredible girls in my group, and they supported me: they had the same problems. So we agreed to meet: each will bring a list of phrases that hurt and cut the soul, and we will train each other.
I sat down to my list. I didn't just write what sounded like criticism to me, I wrote everything I was afraid to hear. I wrote phrases – and my inner text, which took the most painful and bitter from the phrase. I wrote and shed tears, so it seemed to me that I was pulling out the most intimate, the most painful.
What were those phrases? They may not be sick to you, but this is for you... And for me, if I hear "What, are you going to cry now? Only little girls roar. And you're probably more than 30 years old, or am I wrong? " - it's like a knife to my heart. When I'm told: "Don't rely on children! They are gentle and affectionate, only a little while. Then they will not need you, they will have their own Affairs, their own interests", I hear: "you will be abandoned. No one will need you, neither your husband nor your children!»
But I wrote everything, and I had dozens of such phrases that hurt me. So I came to a meeting with my classmates. We found a quiet, secluded place in a cafe, exchanged lists, and began to "gift" each other with these beautiful phrases unexpectedly and abruptly.
"You're slow! And also brainless. – And you're an impudent upstart! – Where else are you going if you don't understand?" You're nothing at all, get out of here!
Or: "You're no good as a manager! And you still dare to consider yourself a professional? You're not looking at a pay raise, you're looking at courses for the unemployed!»
Or: "Mom, I don't love you...»
Everything was as expected. The phrases hurt us, our faces turned red and white, our eyes glassy. We smoothed things over with apologetic laughter that turned into laughter. Then we returned each other to a Quiet presence (thanks to the University for this wonderful exercise!) - and gradually we got used to these phrases. Gradually, they lost their sharpness, and we began to perceive them more and more distantly.
But we went further: the next round was followed by a new round, we came up with a new context, we added a new wording from ourselves – and you could see how a new emotion was going. But then that language had ceased to cling to.
We didn't give up. Actually, saying nasty things is not the easiest thing to do, but we are persistent girls and we continued round after round. The lone waiters in the cafe looked at us as if we were crazy, but we didn't care: we were successfully moving forward! And the result became more and more obvious: the apologetic laughter gradually subsided, and we responded more and more calmly to the phrases that" hurt " us earlier. We calmly expressed them to each other. They became mere phrases. Just words, like many other words, like many other phrases.
We won. We stood up, hugged each other, and thanked each other.
And we concluded: "it's true, you can train yourself, previously hurting criticism can stop being so painful. If you repeat words and phrases that cause a negative emotion many times, they turn into just phrases, like many other phrases, like many other words. You can develop a calm response to criticism and painful statements. With proper practice, our body will be able to remember this new calm response."
By the way, when we learned each other's fears and expressed them to each other, my friends and I became even closer to each other. We felt not just relief, but unity: we are moving forward and developing together. We are strong, we know how to win!