A YOGI CHA BLOG
How to stop fighting with others
Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the things people say and do didn’t affect you so much?
That the comment from that friend wouldn’t stay with your for the rest of the day?
Because, let’s face it: the only one stuck with the comment, letting it poison the day, is you.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could not just SEEM perfectly at ease when someone steels the parking spot or cuts in line or maybe even, when your mother is criticising you?
Well, read on because I will tell you how to stop being so darn affected by other people’s behaviour.
And it doesn’t work to just say “DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY”.
It’s the same thing as telling an upset person to “JUST CALM DOWN”. When ever in the history of fights has it actually worked to tell someone this?
There is a way to deal with this that will make you stay poised and calm, not just seemingly but actually within. But it’s not necessarily easy access today. So it might imply work and most definitely, (persistent) commitment
We have found ways to not accept the “bags of shit” people hand to us as poisoned gifts but most of the time they aren’t very “self aware” kind of ways. It’s the typical labelling of the other person as something negative or dismissing them with words like ignorance or stupid. That might be very true indeed, but it’s only half the truth. Because not every narcissist, ignorant and stupid person in the world will trigger your anger. So there must be another part of the equation that you are not looking at. Your reaction. When I say reaction, I mean first and foremost the internal one. Because we can be very good at not showing it, even if we carry it with us the rest of the day.
Have you ever hear the story of the two monks out on a long walk? They come to a river and there’s a young woman who can’t make it over so one of the monks carries her and puts her down on the opposite bank. The other monk is furious but doesn’t say anything as they keep walking. After several hours, he just can’t keep it inside anymore and tells the other one off. “How could you do that, you touched a woman!”. The first monk looks at him and say, yes but I left her on the other side of the river whereas you have been carrying her for several hours”.
The strongest negative emotion we have is one deeply stored in our hearts and is played out in any situation triggering it : shame.
Like anything that comes to the surface and that has not been dealt with, processed from early ages, it will be raw and strong and seemingly out of proportion. From the outside, maybe even from you, it looks like exaggerating or dramatic or out of character. But we need to remember that it is actually NEVER out of character. We always act exactly accordingly to what we are experiencing. READ THAT AGAIN. Because that is really your answer to it all.
Shame is the strongest when there is an audience. So this means, when there is an interaction.
It’s the reason we might feel a stronger negative emotion when someone says something to us and it hits the spot (in the negative way) but less strong when we just sit by ourselves, thinking about it. Someone saying something always make you feel worse because of the audience they represent. Because shame was usually installed in us in humiliating situations to begin with. So with an audience.
This is the case for you and the thing is: this is the case for the other person too.
So we all carry our internal world with us everywhere we go. It’s backed with all the experiences were have had; all the past humiliating situations that we don’t necessarily remember but that planted shame in us. It’s also packed with all the ideas we have planted in our subconscious about who we are, how we relate to others and what our capacity is. So naturally, when there’s a comment or an action that triggers a belief that you are not actually capable of success or that you are not important to take under consideration: you will have a reaction to it inside of you. Now, if you have the perception that whatever happens outside your skin is “objective and true” in your perspective and, more so, has everything to do with you, then you are unfortunate.
Because then you will take it all as personal. You might even keep a grudge for the day. For the week. Forever. To something that might not have anything to do with you.
What we need to learn to do; is to look at any interaction for what it is. Two people, with their baggage, most probably very unaware of their baggage, throwing sand at each other.
You need to be able to see that the person who triggered you is coming from their own very personal perspective. It’s a whole can of worms in itself.
Not only will they speak from a place of their own shame (if you are really in a dispute; remember the audience variable – you are it), they are also using their own filters of reality which means that they too think that what they are experiencing is “objective and true”. I would say that unless you know how to really practice presence, then often we are not even truly listening or observing what other people say and do. We are mainly interpreting from our own goggles. So from what we have experienced. And how we position ourselves.
Basically, what this means is :
The other person carries their stuff. They will say and act depending on what you trigger in them. Maybe they feel that you two are the same or maybe they feel like you’re the antagonist so they need to prove you wrong. Maybe you trigger their relationship to a mother/father/sibling. And by being very aware of this, you can take in what is happening in the interaction and understand the “not so personal” aspect of it.
Now here is the crucial part. Because this is of course true for you too. If they trigger you, it means that there are un-dealt with feelings in you. You can feel humiliated, frustrated, ignored, talked down to… lots of things. Why are you feeling that?
Objectively we could see that nothing someone tells us, changes who we are, right?
So why do we act as if?
“I’m so humiliated, how could she say that to me?”. Well if it doesn’t belong to you, it will still just be something SHE said. You give it a meaning about yourself and you take it in, letting it colour you. If you let that happen, it’s because you were open to receive it. Now why is that?
Instead of making each interaction your personal therapy session, all I’m inviting yo to do is to start observing how you react (internally). What is this person representing in you? Why is their comment hurtful or triggering? What is the story you have made around this person and more so, what comes out of their actions or words?
If we just dismiss hurtful actions as “their issue”, then we are not taking responsibility for how we feel. They might make us feel that way, but we are the ones feeling it. No one can feel for you.
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