Are you a codependent? Are you with a narcissist? Or do you show qualities of both? To check this is scary – what if you do? But to check it is also crucial if you want to move forward (go deeper? end?) with your relationships, including the one we have with ourselves.
To centre ourselves, to create a space of awareness, to show compassion to ourselves and others, to integrate both good and bad experiences of our lives is all one massive task. The good news is we have loving teachers who can point us in the right direction. This post is on one of them.
To respond with empathy might be our intention but it’s not as easy it might seem.
Our busy and caring minds tend to jump to so many potential responses, yet we have to be aware that not all of them are what creates that meaningful connection.
So what is an empathetic response and what are the common mistakes we make?
Deep listening is a thing: if you’ve ever felt that you weren’t truly seen in a conversation then you know it’s real.
How can we improve our listening skills?
What frameworks and reminders can we use?
I have some suggestions for you. That’s a mix of what psychology, Buddhist psychology, and nonviolent communication point to.
Sometimes, fear, insecurities, and self-doubt take over. Whatever journey you’re on, it can get really tough at times. Here are some frameworks you can use to face your struggle with grace.
Doing creative work is hard. By default, there’s a lot of uncertainty and, potentially, doubt involved. Listen to what Seth Godin has to say about it: he will leave you inspired and ready to trust yourself.
The price of not realising the difference between shame and guilt – words that we sometimes use interchangeably, right? – can be a life of misery.
When unchecked, weak boundaries can result in accumulating grudges for the things we never really wanted to do in the first place. They can also lead to us simply not engaging with the tasks we’re taking on.
Whatever system you use, whatever toolkit you have, make sure it’s a good one.
Don’t forget to update it, to expand it, or to thank and remove what’s not needed anymore.
I think there are multiple toolkits we and should be working on, but every other toolkit might not be as effective without this one. Accomplishment without joy, busyness without meaning, stress without purpose, relationships without being seen…
What’s the difference between “I did something bad” and “I AM bad?”
That’s the difference between guilt and shame. And what such self-talk correlates with will scare you.