Are you expressive, not aggressive (video)?
Today I'd like to talk about how we communicate to build trust.
Personally, I've vacillated between the two extremes of either hiding my true thoughts and feelings and
being over-powering and aggressive with them.
In my first marriage, there were many thoughts and feelings I didn't share with my husband. How do you
tell someone you no longer like them? I had so many resentments, but I was afraid if I shared them I'd really hurt his feelings. The result? I hurt more than ever by not wanting to stay in the marriage.
Maybe had I shared my true feelings we could have worked things out before it got to the point of no return.
One Extreme: It doesn’t feel safe to speak my true thoughts and feelings, because people might think I’m
selfish and greedy. They might not agree with my beliefs and try to make me wrong. So I hide. In my inner world, there is a lot of fear and resentment.
a. People don’t know the real me because it doesn’t feel safe to express myself.
b. I don’t know the real me half of the time, because I’m so often the chameleon who tells people what they want to hear.
c. It doesn’t feel safe to ask for what I want and need out of fear of being told NO and being rejected.
d. Because I hold back my thoughts and feelings so often, I erupt at times when I can no longer passively
e. When I hide, I won’t make videos, speak in public, go to networking events, etc., or generally do anything that makes me visible and vulnerable to move my business and life forward.
And there are times when I get really frightened by life, feeling so out of control, that I want to over-power those around me.
Just yesterday, I was really tired. I'd just taught a 2.5 day intense workshop, and I needed to replenish my energy.
I was talking on the phone with my daughter, Maddie, and I asked her a question about a TV show. She replied with a condescending tone, and I about jumped down her throat, telling her to talk more nicely to me and stop being so rude!
I aggressively reacted out of a self-protective state. A few minutes later I apologized because I wanted to feel better.
Don Miguel Ruiz (author of The 4 Agreements) says this:
"I am the excuse for you to get mad. And you get mad because you are afraid, because you are dealing with fear. If you are not afraid, there is no way you’ll get mad with me. If you are not afraid, there is no way you’ll hate me. If you are not afraid, there is no way you’ll be jealous or sad. If you live without fear, if you love, there is no place for any of those emotions.”
Other Extreme: I aggressively express my opinions, needs and wants, whether others want to hear them or not. I outwardly display a lot of activity of expressing myself because I’m afraid I won’t be heard, noticed or validated.
a. I need the safety of control to such an extent that I may bully, berate or verbally abuse others to get my way and keep the focus off of my own stuff.
b. OR I may be very subtle and manipulative to get my way.
c. I can come off as over-powering to potential clients and to clients, which can be off-putting and doesn’t build trust.
d. I want what I want and can be very inflexible and selfish.
There is such a trend where people throw their words around on social media. It doesn't make others feel safe to even have a different opinion without being attacked.
None of us is perfect and we will slip up. The key is to have an Intent to be Kind, expressive, not aggressive, to do our best. A Worthy Self-Advocate is loyal to herself despite how often she
messes up because she knows her heart. I forgave myself for getting short with Maddie, and I intend to course correct to the best of my ability.
Worthy Self-Advocate Activities:
a. I humbly ask for what I want without over-the-top drama.
b. I practice humility in my communication and give others the benefit of the doubt:
• "What do you think?
• “How do you see it?”
• “What would you like?”
• ”How could we work this out?”
c. I respect myself first and how I talk to myself, and therefore I respect the needs of others and really try to understand them.
d. I am straightforward and openly disclose what I truly think, feel, need and want without shame.
e. I authentically and vulnerably express what I feel and want, but I’m ever mindful that others don’t have to agree, and I’m okay with that. "I feel hurt, but it’s not your fault. I need some space right now to process what just happened. We can talk later."
f. Because I’m honest with myself first and own how I feel/think without harsh self-judgment, I’m able to be honest with others and build trust.
g. I Say NO when I don't want to do something, "I would
enjoy A or B but not C."
If you'd like to transform some aspect of your life, such as the ability to honestly communicate and create better relationships, please come to our Frontier to Freedom workshop that we offer quarterly. The next one is Thursday, 8/9 at 5pm.