SEEKING CHANGE – SESSION TWENTY-ONE

Change comes slowly, particularly when you want another to change.  First step? Letting them know you want something to change.  Start with feedback.

Saying what you mean without saying it mean. Feedback suggestions.

iMAGE BY EFTI

Feedback is  the best way to offer criticism; As pundit Franklin P. Jones notes:  “Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.”

Feedback does not directly criticize. Moreover, it  leaves the option of responding to the other person.  This fact makes it more likely the other person will do what you want. Just as most people  do not like criticism most people do not like being told what to do.

When feedback does not work immediately, try Broken Record. Pick one point, and repeat it adding a bit of anger with each repetition.

Next step would be the STOP PLAN. Although developed for children, works with adults also. Here the Poster Coach for that one.

STOP:If the child has a serious problem with disobedience, he will probably double his efforts to do his own thing.  Stay strong, and stay in charge of your feelings, follow these discipline strategies and all should go well.

STOP:If the child has a serious problem with disobedience, he will probably double his efforts to do his own thing. Stay strong, and stay in charge of your feelings, follow these discipline strategies and all should go well.

parenting tip

All parents are experimental scientists. What works for one child fails if applied to all.  A frown punishes one child, a yell another, and some need a swat on a diapered rear-end.  Swats are not abuse, please remember that.  Punishments are not abuse.  Abuse is inflicting tissue damage, leaving a mark – even finger prints from a slap could land you with child abuse charges.

Punishment means pain inflicted after an unwanted behavior.  For a very sensitive child, a frown can be punishing.

A wise man by the name of Gregory Bateson, said “Communication is response.”

Which is why parents have to be experimental scientists. If you are not getting the response you want, you have to try a different tactic.

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They work to improve  critical thinking - the heart of emotional intelligence. You can think about the prompts  as stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. If I put on my thinking cap the prompts can be related to Emotional Fitness. Here’s how I did that for this post.

DAILY PROMPT    By Hand What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was handmade by the giver, not store-bought? Tell us what made it so special.

Any handcrafted gift says time was taken. Moreover, being creative keeps you emotionally strong.

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

 

FEELING EXCHANGE STRATEGY – SESSION TWENTY

Don’t like what you are feeling? Try a feeling exchange.

The song writers and feeling experts agree on this one.  The first way to act on a feeling is to do the opposite of what the feeling urges.

All the best research on handling emotions say unless there is a life threatening safety issue, it is wisest to act against what the feeling suggests doing.  This runs contrary to much of the more popular idea that feelings should be listened to and acted on.

Think about the following and ask yourself when it makes sense to act as the feeling suggests or against the feeling?

  • Fear normally says to run away. Going against fear means approaching what you are afraid of unless doing so puts you in physical danger.  Afraid of a man with a gun, do not approach.  Afraid someone you like might reject you, reach out.  Afraid of cats, pet a kitten; afraid of a kitten, pet a stuffed cat.
  • Guilt or shame normally say stop doing what you are doing. Assuming the guilt is unjustified, you are not hurting people physically or emotionally or doing things like stealing,  do what you feel guilty or ashamed of doing.   Guilt and shame will fade.
  • Sadness, loneliness, or emptiness normally say shut down. The opposite involves getting active.
  • Anger normally says to   Acting against anger means keeping a soft voice and a calm body while thinking kind and gentle in the presence of that person.  It also means doing what you can to right the wrongs creating the anger.

Acting against a feeling is not always easy to do.  Not only do feelings signal us to act, but often the signal is accompanied by a burst of energy that pushes us to act quickly.  Moreover, often we are conflicted.  Part of us wants one thing and another part wants something else.

When you have learned to use Emotional Fitness Exercises to help you stay calm and focused on what is important, you will be able to resist a feeling’s pressure to act without thinking.  You will be able to deal with conflicted feelings and act appropriately.  The Rehearsing Change Exercise will speed up the process.   Here’s how to rehearse change

  1. Be clear about your Game Plan. Don’t have one: Read this.
  2. Next start by going to your safe place and popping up your viewing screen.  (Don’t know what I mean.  Here is the session on Creating Safe Places.  Visit it and then come back when you have created your own safe place. )
  3. Take a calming breathe and turn on a video of the last time the feeling you want to change controlled you and you did things you now regret.
  4. After you get to the feeling you regret, rewind the tape in your mind back to the beginning.
  5. Start the tape again, this time see how you wish youself  acting on your Game Plan acted that is your change goal
  6. Rewind the tape again and this time add the things you need to do to reach your goal.  Most likely that will involve OMMing, sloganeering while  making strong body and face, and then seeing yourself acting in the ways that will get you to your goal.
  7. You may have to rewind and edit several times before you see yourself doing your best.  That’s the way of change, practice and perfect.  You have perfected the tape when you feel happy with the new ending.
  8. What then?  Rehearsing lots in your mind and then bit by bit trying the Game Plan in real life situations.

Have trouble visualizing?  You are not alone.  You probably do better using words.  Just describe in words what happened once and then develop a script for what you want to happen.  People who do not visualize well often find writing a script words.  Some tape the script once it is done to their satisfaction and then play it over and over again, usually at night before falling asleep.

Rehearsals are hypnotic devices.  Don’t let that scare you.  Hypnotism is nothing more than  going some place else in your mind.   The some place else is called a trance state and you’ve been in many.

Examples: When you get involved in a movie, t.v. show, or book and forget the real world you are trancing out.  When you are traveling somewhere in a car, or bus, or train and get so lost in your thoughts you are surprized when you arrive at your destination.  If some says shut your eyes and has you visualize something, they are leading you into a trance.

Some words of warning: Generally, you cannot be hypnotized without being willing, and you rarely will do something you don’t already want to do. How then to some people give into stage hypnotists and end up clucking like chickens?  Good question. Three things explain that:

  1. A good hypnotist can pick out those in the audience that are hypnotically talented. And the ability to go into a trance is a talent that some people have and others do not.
  2. Besides people who volunteer to go on stage, like to show off a bit.
  3. People who volunteer also like to please people in authority.

When is hypnotism dangerous? If the three things mentioned above are partnered with a dark urge, people can  be lead to do bad things.  Think for a moment about charismatic leaders. Hitler was one and in many ways brain washed and hypnotised a nation.

What to do to stay safe?  Before embarking on any thing resembling a hypnotic state, set up a safety net.  “Going on a trip, but keeping myself and others safe” works.

PaRENTING TIP

Self-hypnotism is a useful life skill.  Moreover, the younger your child, the more easily he or she can learn this skill. This works for the two or three year old.

Step One: Start with teaching your child some self-soothing exercises at bedtime. The OMM is a good one.  Tense and Release also works.

Step Two: Add words that suggest relaxing and add numbers to the words. Relaxing one, relaxing two, relaxing three. Say the words softly and connect them to your child’s breath. Say “Relaxing” as the child breathes in and the number as the child breaths out.

Step Three: When the child is relaxed, tell a short bedtime story that creates a success visualiation and that includes a hypnotic suggestion. .  Here’s an example.

We are walking in the woods. The sun is shining, and sprinkly the path with spots of gold. We are happy as we walk. The air smells of pine and birds chirp. A dog is running ahead of us.  We follow him, but we get to a fork in the road, and do not know which way to go.  We wait quietly and listen carefully.  Soon we hear a faint barking.  The dog has taken the path to the right. As we head down that path, the dog comes running back to us.  Listening carefully always works best.

Repeat the last line a number of times. That is the hypnotic message you want to implant.

Here is the OMM Poster Coach in case you’ve forgotten it.

A one minute meditation

 POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They work to improve  critical thinking - the heart of emotional intelligence. You can think about the prompts  as stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. If I put on my thinking cap the prompts can be related to Emotional Fitness. Here’s how I did that for this post.

DAILY PROMPT    Came from a ten-minute free write.  But took me lots longer. The message: When someone suggests something, make it your own; take was works, work it the way you need to and leave the rest behind.

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free  (Handouts are in Black and White while Poster Coaches are in color.)

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

A FEELING MANAGEMENT GAME PLAN – SESSION NINETEEN

A feeling always urges acting. When you stop, think, and agree with the feeling that something  needs to be done, you need a  game plan. Here’s one.

cave-man-plan

A Cave Man’s Game Plan

Even this primitive game plan has merit.  How? Four ways.

  1. It is goal driven.
  2. Moving rocks is hard work; hard work reduces energy; the energy of  mad, bad, sad feelings is what  gets you acting too quickly and without a game plan.
  3. It accomplishes a task of some sort; maybe the cave man is clearing a field,  building a wall or a house.
  4. It seems  to have no violent intent. Of course, cave man could be stock piling rocks to hit a neighbor over the head, but lets assume that would only be done in the interest of self-defense.

Three ingredients assure winning  game plans:

  1. Knowing  the opposition
  2. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
  3. Developing multiple action options

Knowing the opposition   If you have decided you need to act as suggested in this course, you have started this task. You have answered some basic questions this way:

  1. You can do something, change is within your control
  2. You can do something within your honor code
  3. Doing something will be worth your time and effort.

You have also gathered some important information about the feeling that bosses you. You have figured out some clues for when it starts knocking at your brain’s door. you have named it, can measure its growth. Finally, you have some strategies for staying calm so you can think about what to do.  You may even have a game plan in mind. Well done.

If you have not done the above, have only popped in and out, or have just found this course go here to catch up.

Knowing your  strengths and weaknesses - Use this check list to think about your strengths.

Personal strengths list

Circle what you feel is a strength, what you do not circle is probably a weakness, but not necessarily of your making

To enhance this list, first add whatever you think is one of your strengths to those on the check list.  Then ask one or two friends to circle what they think are your strengths.  

Developing action oriented options

Brain storming is a useful way to develop options.  Start on your own.  Spend ten or fifteen minutes listing any idea about how to better deal with the feeling in question.

Then think about ideas others might suggest.  What would your parents, teachers,  friends, boss or coworkers, coaches, religious leader  or mentors suggest?

Don’t judge any idea as good or bad. The goal is to get as many ideas as possible.

For the best option, test the ones you like against the SMART GOAL format and put it in the form of a game plan. Quick examples:

When sadness visits my  game plan is to set a daily activity goal including moving my body, to  talk to two friends socially;  and to complete two small tasks that I have put off.  If I cannot do this I will talk to my Complaint Partner. If the sadness persists and keeps me from doing what I must, over a two week period, I will seek therapy.  If I start making plans to harm myself I will call 911 or a hot line. 

When anger starts growing my game plan will be to take a time out as soon as possible.  As my anger is mostly at work where taking a time out is difficult, I will take a bathroom break as soon as I  can, wash my face with cold water, spend a minute or two practicing the OMM and Soft Face.  I will OMM when my boss is yelling at me and work to keep a soft but respectful face.  I will remind myself yelling does not help things, and not yell back.  Instead I will remind myself while OMMing This will pass.”  I will  use lunch time to do something I enjoy or minimally to take a brisk walk.   I will reward my self when the work day is over with a healthy treat. I will keep looking for a different job.

parenting tips

Honor your child’s strength.  Use this check list as suggested above.

Child's strength list

Circle what you feel is a strength, what you do not circle is probably a weakness, but that depends on age and stage. Most of the personal  strengths should be evident by the time a child is six or seven, some will take longer to be developed.

Remember for children, your necessary criticism muar  countered with five feeling loved or respected moments.

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They work to improve  critical thinking - the heart of emotional intelligence. You can think about the prompts  as stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. If I put on my thinking cap the prompts can be related to Emotional Fitness. Here’s how I did that for this post.

DAILY PROMPT    Oil, Meet Water - Of the people who are close to you, who is the person most unlike you? What makes it possible for you to get along?

How this relates to emotional fitness and today’s post:  Getting along with those not like matters not only in personal relationships, but across the world if we are to create peace on earth.  We need a better game plan than the one used throughout the centuries.

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free  (Handouts are in Black and White while Poster Coaches are in color.)

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine

HOW TO EXPRESS FEELINGS WISELY – SESSION EIGHTEEN

Letting it all out, particularly when angry, is not wise; when you yell, most people cannot or will not listen. 

Not listening when yelled at.

Express feelings wisely. How? Try these suggestions:

  • Do something seriously physical while talking to yourself about how you feel. Examples: chopping wood, dancing, jogging, even walking briskly. The physical activity drains energy from the feelings and creates space for thought.
  • Plot feeling defeating scenarios in you mind.  The advice to see a scary audience naked works to defeat shame.  Seeing someone who yells at you as a two-year old having a temper tantrum are good examples.
  • Practice your creativity. That could be painting, writing, crafting.  I combated the boredom of many obligatory meetings by folding peace cranes.  I gave out adult coloring material and crayons at all my workshops.
  • Let yourself have a good cry while watching a sad TV show or video.
  • Pray or talk to the God of your understanding.
  • Talk the feeling out with a Complaint Partner.

Never heard of Complaint Partners?  This Poster Coach explains. 

Complaint partner rules.

Once you know the rules, start looking for your partner. The world is full of potential Complaint Partners, you just need to find them.  Ask and you will find. Be up front and state your needs but with a bit of flattery and then come bribery.

Once found, train.  “Train” sharing the rules, nothing more. .

Some will refuse, but most will give it a try. Suggest trying it out for a month to see if both feel it is a good match.

A few more rules Complaint Partner Rule:

  1. A Complaint Partner cannot be at another’s beck and call. Make it clear to any potential Complaint Partners that they can say “Not now” when you call at the wrong moment. Do the same if called at a time you cannot offer support.
  2. Don’t use family members to complain about family members; friends to complain about shared friends; don’t use work colleagues to complain about work problems.
  3. Sometimes professional help is needed, particularly if someone seems to be in immediate danger. Know when to call  911 

paRENTING TIP

As noted above, family members should not complain to other family members including your child’s other parent. And yes, that is very hard to do, but important. What to do then?

When a child is stepping on you last nerve, take a Calming Breath, repeat a comforting slogan – “Now is not forever.  Announce, “I need a time out.” Then take one, even if it is only a quick bathroom break.

WHAT’S NEXT

Next up developing a game plan.

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They work to improve  critical thinking - the heart of emotional intelligence. You can think about the prompts  as stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. If I put on my thinking cap the prompts can be related to Emotional Fitness. Here’s how I did that for this post.

DAILY PROMPT    No Time to Waste - Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion. (Thanks for suggesting this prompt, theempathyqueen!)

How this relates to emotional fitness and today’s post:  Life is too short to waste on negative feelings.

How did I come to this conclusion?  Shortly after becoming a parent and a special need foster parent and started living with angry, sad, frightened kids.  Being a therapist helped a bit, but two books affirmed what my foster children taught me about dealing effectively with all negative emotions:  The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard; and Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.

FREE  STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free  (Handouts are in Black and White while Poster Coaches are in color.)

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

LINKS OF INTEREST

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings. This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful; One star – Reinforced my knowledge –  Two Stars; New information –  Three stars;  New useful information; Four stars – Very good; Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.

Katherine