Other People’s Shoes

Monday, August 24th, 2020

We’re all in a state.

What’s next? Is it worth dating right now if we might not be able to meet? Have I got the energy for a new relationship anyway? Am I going to lose my job?

Frankly, life feels less safe.

Could a different approach help? The sense that the usual rules no longer apply can open up space for more spontaneity and the opportunity to tailor your responses to whatever you are dealing with, that much better. Considering each situation you find yourself in and what the person or people involved want, before taking any action, will enable you to identify the best way forward – the one that will give both of you and them what’s really needed.

There is a simple problem solving technique that will not only improve all your relationships and empower you but also make anxieties much easier to withstand.

Instead of allowing stress to overwhelm you, pay attention to yourself first. Let’s say you are feeling drained of motivation. You’re working from home and the pressure from your boss, which is usually manageable, feels unbearable. After a few moments of reflection you may realise that it’s not just the demands, but the fact that you’ve had few chances to chat with colleagues, the way you used to do, to let off steam and keep things in proportion that is part of the problem.

Allow your mind to rest for 10 mins, (you can do this at your desk, but it works better if you step away) breathe mindfully and rein your emotions back in by understanding your response: let’s say you’re alone, you’re worried about your parents and you are fearful of being made redundant. Okay. Anyone in your shoes would be feeling out of sorts. Now consider your boss and the pressures you are aware of that he/she is under. They could be the same as yours, in which case maybe he/she could do with some understanding too. You are probably starting to feel calmer and more resilient already, because you are taking control. The final step is to consider how you might modify your own behaviour to change the relationship between you and that can be as simple as thanking them for their support next time you report or have a conversation. When we reach out to people, as long as it is in a kind way, the response is often positive and slowly but surely things will improve for both of you.

It’s exactly the same when the relationship is romantic. Hold in your feelings, speak calmly and with warmth when things get fraught. If you have to count to ten before you say anything, then do so – it’s fine.

Karen X