Have you ever been hounded by someone's fear-based opinions until you felt totally panicky and thrown off? It's scary and intense, right? In this video, I offer you some tips on how to recognize fear-based manipulation and what to do about it! Make your own opinions and decisions from a place of reason and common sense. Don't let anyone lead you down the wrong track! Take your power back--you get to choose how you feel.
We’ve all been there. You hang up the phone and wonder why in the world you even talk to “that” friend. The hurtful one. The friend who offers cutting observations of your behaviors and life experiences. Ouch.
I’m here to give you a few pointers on how to make sure your friendships are loving and supportive.
First here are some questions to ask yourself in a quiet place:
- What am I willing to accept in order to have friends?
- What is my emotional, psychological and spiritual limit?
- What does my heart tell me about this person?
Why do we do it?
We don’t have to go into a session of hand-wringing, but it’s worth it to delve into the reasons we may choose unsupportive or hurtful friends. I’d like to offer up a few universal reasons based on the human condition.
- We all want love
- We all want validation
- We are all afraid of being alone
These reasons can help us be compassionate towards ourselves. We all want these things—there is nothing wrong with us. We’ve made some choices that we don’t prefer. That’s ok. With loving attention, let’s move into what we can do about our situation.
What do we do from here?
1. Forgive ourselves. As I mentioned, our actions and choices are not a reason to beat ourselves up. We are always doing the best we can in every moment. Know that to be true.
2. Make a decision. Sit down and decide with conviction that enough is enough. You are only inviting loving friendships into your life. You will only be a loving friend to the best of your ability.
3. Set an intention. Declare it as a ceremony. Whether you write a certificate and sign it or go into the woods and shout it to the sky, make it official. This is a very powerful exercise and has brought many lovely and joyful surprises my way.
4. Communicate—bring closure. You can write this friend a letter. Pour out your heart and bawl them out too! You don’t ever have to let them see it. Unless you want to. This is meant to bring YOU closure. You want to resolve it within yourself. Then you can decide whether you want to tell them how you feel or whether it will remain between you and the fence post.
You can also decide if you want to attempt a resolution with the friend. You can try to bring your feelings forward and if you feel that they are sincere and didn’t understand the impact they had on you, maybe they can remain your friend. You decide. That’s the takeaway. It’s your life. You can choose to surround yourself with whomever you like. So make it count. You’ll be glad you did.
Want more content? Listen to my podcast on the same topic.
When you form the word NO and let it pass your lips what does it feel like? Ick? Can’t do it? Guilt shower? Does your mouth even go like that? Since we obviously can’t very well go through life without the use of the word NO, let’s get to the bottom of this!
My first approach to anything in my life is to ask some questions—either out loud or in my journal.
- What kind of person am I when I say NO?
- What will others think of me if I say NO?
- What consequences will I suffer if I say NO?
Anything interesting come up for you there? Sometimes you let things rattle around in your brain for a few days and then all of a sudden—eureka! Major insight happens.
Now that we’ve delved a little deeper with the questions, we can move onto some psychological beliefs we may have about saying NO
- Do I identify as someone who doesn’t say NO? Who would I be if I started to say NO? At times our identity can be a real jail cell. If we live our lives confining ourselves within the bars we’ve created, we miss out on plenty of experiences. Life becomes a very small arena of circumstances.
- Does saying NO really mean that I’m a bad person or unworthy or undeserving in life? This may sound harsh but believe me the subconscious doesn’t pull any punches. Examine whether these beliefs resonate with you and just through this awareness you may find that the pull of their influence starts to lessen.
- Do I live my life with the belief that I’m someone who only says yes? Do I strive to be the good person or whatever label I’ve given myself? When we live by these rigid rules of conduct we can’t respond in the moment as our authentic selves.
What to do about it:
Find ways to connect with our authentic selves: when we are grounded and rooted in our True Self, our true identity, we don’t need outside validation or recognition. We are free to respond as we are. Meditate in the mornings or even in the shower with the intention of connecting to your inner core. Ask for guidance or support on how to stay with yourself throughout the day and especially if things get hairy.
- Celebrate yourself:
This is a way to validate yourself without the need for others and therefore without the need to please people by saying yes. Write down all the ways you are a good person—it could be very small things like you are kind to strangers and like to smile at others. You don’t really have to have a list of things that you do, it’s more like who are you on a regular basis? How do you greet the world in every moment? Celebrate that! You’re doing a great job.
- Write down all your fears around who you would be if you said no.
Bring the fears to the surface. Give them a voice. Let them have their say. Then say thank you for sharing. You will notice that these fears may not have the Vulcan grip they once had over you.
- Saying NO does not make you anything.
It is merely a way to show up in the world in any given moment. There is nothing shameful about being authentic and responding from your core. Say it with kindness and say it with me now: NO!