Have you ever felt badly after talking critically about somebody else? It often makes us feel badly because it is usually a projection of what our inner critic is telling us about ourselves. In addition, talking about somebody else does not provide that person the opportunity to share their perspective nor does it provide them with the potential benefit of the knowledge that you have to share. It does not improve the situation for you, for them, or for your relationship.
When we think twice before engaging in talking about others, we pause, and have the opportunity to think it through. We can ask ourselves:
- “What is it about this situation that applies to me?”
- “What are the reasons that what the other person did is triggering me?”
- “What can I learn about myself from this?”
- “What can I do to approach the other person appropriately to discuss the situation, to share each other’s perspective, and to create a better relationship?”
When we can figure out what is bothering us and how it is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves, we can deal with that within ourselves. Additionally, if it applies and if the other person is open to it, we can have a well thought out conversation with the other person to share perspectives in a meaningful way. This is very vulnerable and requires both courage and finesse. The finesse comes from the intentions of being curious, compassionate and empathetic, and to build the connection.
When you look at how you can take what you are thinking and feeling and use it in a productive way to reflect on yourself and your behaviour, initiate meaningful conversations with others, and come with the intention of creating a stronger bond with the other person, a much more positive outcome is possible.
Jamie Davidoff, BCom, Professional Certified Coach