Have you ever been hooked by a person’s judgement, comment or criticism? It would be pretty rare if you weren’t emotionally hooked.
What’s interesting is that there is often valuable information in our emotional reaction.
Here is how I illustrate this with my clients.
Coach Cora: “Can I give you some advice? “
Coach Cora: “I think that you should dye your hair green”
Coach Cora: “Notice that you didn’t have a negative emotional reaction to my advice about dying your hair green”
I then give them some advice on something that I know is charged for them.
Coach Cora: “I really don’t think you made the right decision”.
Instantly the client notices the emotional charge in their body. The truth of the matter is that the client had some hidden doubt about making that decision. If she really was confident in her decision her reaction would have been like me suggesting “green hair”. It would not have mattered what I suggested.
One of my clients shared how she applied this perspective to planning her daughter’s wedding. When something came up that she and her daughter disagreed about they openly discussed whether it was a “green hair” disagreement. Once they saw what triggered them, each person took responsibility for their own feelings and they were able to work through tricky situations with openness and compassion. Many things were let go that could have ballooned into big issues. My client said that it actually became a fun experience planning the wedding.
The next time you have a reaction to someone’s judgement or advice, check in with yourself and ask “What is my truth about this?” or “What is causing this reaction?” Once you are clear about this and your reaction disappears, you’ll see things differently and respond instead of react.
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