"I get so irritated. He's being negative again and starts complaining and blaming the kids. I can't stand it!"
One of the Mom's in my class expressed this the other day and I could relate. When I experience someone being negative I resist it, I get angry or I shut down. I don't allow myself to show up the way I want to expressing my values and my feelings. Instead, I protect myself as something in my past is scared, and feels that it isn't safe... For me when there is a problem (that they are being negative about) I internalize this to mean: I am not doing my job, I need to fix it, it is my responsibility, I am not enough. But that is too much for me, so I often go unconscious and protect as a defense mechanism. I project it on to the other person, that he and his negative outlook is the problem. Or I go on attack and criticise them. When really, since I am upset, it is within me. My stuff to work with.
Now that I have more resources/tools from doing The Heart Gym work, I am more often able to stay in this uncomfortable place. There is a message for me here about what I value that is important to listen to. I want to be aware of it and not numb out/distract/project it onto the other person. To do this takes resource, often a listening partner to support me going to this scary vulnerable place. I am able to ask myself, "What does 'Scared Allison' want to say?" "What does 'Scared' value, want, yearn for?" This is such a healing place when I slow down and create the safe conditions to be here. I also do an exercise that anyone can do with just a blank piece of paper folded in two and a pencil/pen. If you'd like to know more, email me: Allison@TheHeartGym.org
My goal is to share best practices so all parents are connected with their kids, have tools to work with their upset and experience freedom from the enmeshment twister of blame, judgement, labeling, and criticism.