My Approach to Helping
"I wish I didn't take things so personally!" Being triggered by another person's behavior can make us feel powerless. Its starts us on a path of circular thinking which ignites angry feelings, all of which cover over our insecurity and feelings of unworthiness.
We take things personally when we rely on the external world validating us. Someone treats us kindly, positively acknowledges our parenting or work effort, or simply smiles at us. We take these things personally because they are helpful to our self-esteem. We feel liked and even loved, but mostly acceptable. If things outside are going smoothly then that must mean we are doing things "right" and are acceptable human beings.
Stop and ask yourself all the ways you try to control your external environment. Perfectionism? People pleasing? Incessant planning? Even with all the energy spent trying to make our outer lives stress free, we still have emotional reactions. When we focus outwardly to find peace and validation we are setting ourselves up for feeling anxiety, depression and powerlessness.
It's really the unpleasant emotions we feel that we want help with, not more ways to please people so we won't be judged.
I help people slow down and tune into those feelings that trip us up. We might be adults, but most of us don't have skills easily accessible to help calm our own emotional experiences. I help people learn how they developed these emotional triggers and how to work with their feelings instead of avoid, analyze or criticize themselves for having them.
When we have knowledge of how we operate then we don't feel as dependent on external circumstances to validate us. We feel more capable of re-routing thoughts so they don't hijack our emotional well being when we get to know our thinking mind instead of being at it's mercy. When we experience a calmer mind state, we have more choices about how to calmly and compassionately respond instead of react to emotional triggers.
This understanding of our inner world allows us to trust ourselves to handle what life puts on our path. We begin to let go of what other's think of us and even how they treat us. We let go of the reliance on others to take care of our inner world.