Do other people’s words or actions cause you to be negative and leave you in bad form by the end of the day?
This happens so frequently, both in an office environment and with our new working from home culture.
Have you heard about the analogy of an orange? What do you get when you squeeze an orange? The usual response is ‘juice’ or ‘orange juice’. The next question is why do you get orange juice when you squeeze an orange? Stupid question perhaps – it is because that is what is inside. That is the correct answer of course, and a very interesting one when applied to ourselves.
To apply that analogy ask yourself the same question: What happens when people squeeze us? (not the affectionate hug or squeeze you get from your other half).
In a business sense, squeezing might be aligned to the notion of people ‘pushing our buttons’, touching our ‘emotional wounds’, hitting the ‘sore spots’ of our lives. When we are squeezed we are reminded of the negative experiences in the past that have left us exposed to our own weaknesses. Very often these experiences reaffirm our limiting beliefs.
When people squeeze us we often respond with anger, frustration, or feelings of hurt because like the orange that is what is inside of us. We have two choices. Express our ‘juice’ verbally, or the far more dangerous option of letting it build up. Stacking the pain which continues to strengthen, and we double down on our reactions.
A few years back I worked with a client who carried huge resentment towards his parents for over 20 years. He did not feel ready to let go of it because he ‘didn’t want his parents to think what they did was ok’. As a kid the embarrassment he experienced was probably a big deal but now as an adult it would appear less relevant, however he unwilling or unable to let it go. My first thought was that it was an interesting concept: to believe that by holding onto that resentment, his parents would somehow feel bad he would feel better. It doesn’t make sense and yet it’s common for us to hold onto old grudges, and not forgive.
In a business situation it is easy to carry forward resentments from our past, but also to accumulate new resentments towards colleagues and situations.
In reality, we have very little control over other people’s behaviour, but we can choose how we respond to it, just like squeezing the orange we react with what is inside of us. The truth is that holding onto anger and resentment only affects ourselves and it makes it more difficult to navigate through life carrying all that extra unwanted baggage. Negative emotions are heavy. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what someone did to us is ok, it simply means that we are no longer prepared to carry it around as a weight in our lives.
We need to close-up the emotional wounds and sore spots from our past. This might seem ‘easier said than done’. In working with clients, I have found that it is the easiest, hardest thing to do’, When we examine our reactions to events we get the opportunity to identify areas of our mind that needs attention. I am convinced that we can learn life’s lessons, forgive and heal up the wounds – from the inside out!.
I have recorded a technique called Cutting the Ties which can assist with disconnecting energetically from people and events and recalibrating at the end of a challenging day. It will certainly change the way you react to being squeezed.
Feel free to drop me an email if you would like a copy. firstname.lastname@example.org