From time to time, we may experience a toxic environment. Toxic environment can make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, your heart begins to race, you may feel dazed and confused. The word, anxious comes to mind. These are just a few of my personal flags of awareness when I find myself in this type of environment. Are you aware of your flags?
Toxicity brings out our best defense weapons. These weapons of mass destruction may be: passive-aggressive, silent treatment, pointing fingers, shouting, storming off or attacking. What are yours? Do you have more than one?
These weapons are used to protect us but I am here to tell you that is an old story. These weapons are used to mask our own personal fears and insecurities. Plus they only scare and push people away. They set battlegrounds for both toxic interactions and relationships. Becoming aware that you are doing this is key in turning this upside down and on its head. For me, interacting in a different way has truly changed the way I handle these types of interactions. Instead of reacting, I respond. Knowing that when we react this comes from a place where fear and anger lingers. Our words become swords and weapons. It is often an automated defense mechanism that we have perfected over the years. Instead, I choose to respond. This comes from a place where I am able to remove all personal attachments and listen to what that person is saying. For the sake of them being their words from their life experience. We all have wounds and are on different stage in our life's journey.
These are the steps I take to initiate this response. First, I pause. Take a deep breath in and out. I may do this a couple of times I detach myself by removing my ego from the conversation. I visualize this person’s inner child and this totally shifts my perspective. I began to see that this person is using their voice the best way they know how in order to convene an idea or point. I then have a sense of calmness. Instead of firing weapons and tightening up my defenses. Which only pushes that person further away and escalates the situation. Instead, I speak my truth. I’m vulnerable. Opening up your heart to another person is scary as everything. Exposing a fear, hurt or pain may seem like an execution on the spot but its effects are completely the opposite. Once you start doing this you will find that it will defuse the conversation. Try it! I double dog dare you. This is a process. A rewarding one, I must add. However, keep in mind, Its not a one and done type of thing. I continually have to practice this and I feel so much better when my words are coming from my truth and heart. I feel much lighter and freer. Not heavy with guilt and remorse. Put down your weapons and join me in speaking your truth. Empower yourself with your words and knowing your boundaries and flags. This is Lifein180.