If you are feeling disrespected, are you sure you understand the real reason?
Recently a client asked me how to talk to a problem co-worker. A new worker had been hired and was changing things around the office. My client felt that this new person was being disrespectful of the other workers who had been there longer.
Instead of helping her talk to her co-worker, I suggested that we explore her emotions first.
You might be surprised at what we discovered.
Where do your emotions come from?
Most people don’t bother to explore the source of their emotions. We just assume that our emotions are accurate. In our case, if you feel disrespected, then the other person does not respect you.
There are two sources of emotions. Our emotion may be giving us accurate information about the current situation or our emotion may be rooted in the past.
Unless we explore the source of the emotion we cannot know if the emotion is current or from the past. They feel exactly the same.
How emotions from the past continue to affect us
Isn’t the past just the past? Not necessarily. You may still be holding onto emotions from your childhood.
When a child is overwhelmed by a strong emotion, the child is not able to release that emotion. The emotion becomes stored in the body waiting for release.
These stored emotions act like triggers or landmines. Whenever another person or a situation reminds you of the past, you feel all those same emotions from childhood.
Children often feel that their parents do not respect their space or their opinions. Parents clean up your room without your permission. They ignore your wishes about bedtime, friends or which activities you like. You feel disrespected.
What my client discovered about respect
When we explored respect we discovered something my client never expected.
My client discovered that she was not showing herself respect. The disrespect she felt in childhood had turned into disrespect for herself. We used the poetry of emotion process to release the lack of respect.
She did not need to confront her co-worker. The problem resolved itself.
How did the problem resolve itself so easily? A quote from Confucius may explain it: “Respect yourself and others will respect you.”
Before you rush off to confront someone, make sure you know the true source of your emotions.
(Image: Victor1558 @ Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/76029035@N02/6829481351/)