Are you a stuffer, a leaker or a gusher? (Part 3)

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throwing knivesDo you know anyone like this?

  1. Mottos and Beliefs
    • “Everyone should be like me.”
    • “I am never wrong.”
  2. Communication Style
    • Close minded (has difficulty seeing another’s point of view)
    • Poor listener
    • Monopolizing
  3. Characteristics
    • Domineering
    • Patronizing
    • Condescending, sarcastic
  4. Behavior
    • Puts others down
    • Doesn’t ever think they are wrong
    • Bossy
    • Know-it-all attitude
  5. Nonverbal Cues
    • Squints eyes critically
    • Glares
    • Stares
    • Rigid posture
    • Critical, loud, yelling tone of voice
  6. Verbal Cues
    • “You must (should, ought better).”
    • “Don’t ask why. Just do it.”
    • Verbal abuse
  7. Confrontation and Problem Solving
    • Must win arguments, threatens, attacks
    • Operates from win/lose position
  8. Feelings Felt
    • Anger
    • Hostility
    • Frustration
    • Impatience
  9. Effects
    • Provokes counter aggression
    • Alienates Others
    • Pays high price in human relationships
    • People feel like they need to lie and cover up to protect themselves
    • Forces compliance with resentment

 

The problem with a gusher’s aggressive communication is it very rarely solves problems. Usually, after verbal explosions, there are hurt feelings, walls are built in relationships, and the problem resurfaces later.

People learn to avoid others who are gushers because they don’t want to get caught in the line of fire. Those who are gushers may feel better in the moment (they have a voice and have let their needs, wants, and desires be known), but they often destroy relationships in the process.

Gushers leave a trail of hurt, pain, embarrassment, and pshychological damage.

I’m always reminded of the following story with a gusher.

Nails In The Fence

Author Unknown

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

As children we are confident that the adults and people in our lives are more than capable to forgive and forget our offenses no matter what we would say or do.

It’s not until we reach adulthood that we realize the long term damage our words and actions can have on one another.  Suddenly as adults we look back on our own lives at the times when someone hurt us with their cruel words or actions and although we were able to forgive them, there are some things we discover were never able to truly forget.

The fact is there are some things that we may say or do that ultimately can never be taken back no matter how many times we apologize to the one’s we hurt.  Unfortunately we tend to realize the level of irreversible damage we caused only in hindsight and even more, the ones we tend to hurt the worst are the people we usually love the most.

As the saying goes, “To err is human, to forgive divine,” which is true, we are human, we make mistakes, and sometimes we say or do things we don’t mean out of anger in times of great frustration or sadness.

Yet, every time we are in a dispute with a friend, disagreement with a loved one, or even just having a bad day, it’s so important to remember to pause and take a moment to think about the possible permanent repercussions our actions and words could have on others.

It’s only natural that we will have times where we will lose our tempers or be pushed to our personal limits.  However, when we find ourselves in those times of great frustration or anger, we must be sure that whatever we say or do in those moments won’t,  like the nails hammered in the fence, end up leaving permanent holes in the one’s we love and in relationships important to us that we will never be able to undo.

Are you a stuffer, a leaker or a gusher? (Part 2)

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leakerAre you a leaker?

Remember last week, we learned how Jack responded when he was upset with Tina.  (Here’s last weeks post if you missed it—Are you a Stuffer?)  Jack was a stuffer so whenever he was upset, he just stuffed it.  That way he could avoid conflict. (because he really hated conflict and wanted to avoid it at all costs.)

This week we’re going to look at how Tina handles her emotions when she’s upset.

Tina is a stuffer too, but she adds a little kicker to hers.  She’s also a leaker.

When Tina is upset, she doesn’t say anything, because she’s a very nice person—(and she’s been taught that anger isn’t very nice) so she stuffs it and then silently leaks it out in her actions.

Last week, Jack asked Tina if she minded if he went on a fishing trip with some guys from work for the week-end.  Tina, because she’s really nice, said “Of course, you go and have fun!”  When Jack returned from the trip, Tina leaked her true feelings–she barely talked to him for three days and when they were in the room together, Jack felt as if he were invisible.

Tina appeared nice, (sweet, compliant and agreeable—you go have fun!) but she leaked her true feelings of resentment, anger and envy.

They were leaked in the form of the silent treatment for Jack not figuring out what she really wanted him to do which was for him to stay home with her.

A leaker doesn’t speak the truth openly when asked their opinion. They say “yes” when they really mean “no.” Their behavior leaks the “no” they really meant.  This becomes confusing for people who are in a relationship with a leaker.  Since they can’t always trust a leaker’s words, they are often trying to guess  what the leaker is really thinking and feeling. (“Is she really ok with me going on the fishing trip?” Or “Am I going to pay for it later?”)  It can be very exhausting.

Remember when Tina forgot to ask for time off work to attend Jack’s work convention? The truth is that Tina didn’t want to go to the conference with Jack and rather than directly confront him to talk about it, she leaked it out by not even asking for the time off of work and then pretending that she’d been so busy that she just forgot.

This way Tina could avoid confrontation and still come across as ‘nice’—after all, we all get busy and forget things.

Sometimes Tina would withhold information from Jack: “Oh, didn’t I tell you about that—I thought I did.”

Sometimes when Tina was upset, she’d purposely fake being happy. (because that’s the nice way to be.) Jack was so confused because he could feel the mixed messages and it kept him off balance.

Leaking goes along with the saying–“sugar and spice and everything nice.”  Being angry isn’t ‘nice’ so leakers sneakily express their anger.

  • You accidentally make the coffee too strong.
  • You accidentally slam the door.
  • You accidentally bang the dishes too loud.
  • You accidentally burn the steak.

These actions are all under the guise of, “Oh, I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to do that.”

Leakers also use are ‘sarcastic remarks’ and then when you call them on it, they say “Oh, I didn’t mean it to sound like that.” “Geez you are so sensitive.”— They turn the table on you to make you feel wrong and guilty.

Sometimes a leaker is truly blind to their own behavior.  They truly don’t even realize what they are doing.

Do you have leaker tendencies?

Answer these questions to find out:

  1. Someone said something that hurt your feelings. In response, you:

A. Confront him about it.
B. Say something hurtful in return.
C. Keep icy silent until he/she figures out what they did wrong.

2. Your co-worker is borrowing things from your desk without asking you and it’s bugging you. In response, you:

A. Politely tell them how you feel and ask them to ask you.
B. Get over it because it’s really not that big of a deal.
C. Lock your desk drawers so they can’t get to your stuff.

3. You’ve been feeling neglected by your partner. When he/she finally makes an effort to spend time together, you:

A.  Enthusiastically agree.
B. Tell them yes and explain how you’ve been missing them and feeling lonely.
C. Wait for them to call you when you don’t show up to make sure they “really” want you there.

If “C” sounds familiar to you, then you are probably acquainted with the ‘leaking’ tactic. Leaking can take on a lot of forms, including resentment, hostility, procrastination and a negative attitude.

Being in a relationship with a leaker isn’t easy. You’re not even sure when they aren’t telling the truth.  Maybe they really did just forget. Maybe they really aren’t banging those dishes around on purpose. Maybe they did just accidentally burn the steak.

You’re often left wondering how they really feel. “Maybe she is ok with me going on the fishing trip but maybe she’s not.” “I don’t know!”  It can be confusing—you never know what to really think.

It’s only by having the courage to speak up, to respectfully be clear and direct that we can improve ourselves and our relationships.

You have to be brave enough to tell people how you really feel and ask for what you really need.

This means you have to risk having a confrontation and you need to remember that confrontation can be direct and respectful, it doesn’t have to be an argument or an attack. It doesn’t have to be something bad.

Sometimes a confrontation is needed to move the relationship forward in a positive direction.

Avoiding confrontation leads to more indirect expressions of angry feelings which leads to more angry feelings.  It’s a vicious cycle that keeps feeding on itself.

Being a stuffer or a leaker actually intensifies your emotions.

Life and relationships are so much easier and more enjoyable when you learn to Master Your Emotions.

Register here for my FREE online class to learn more ways to improve you, your life and your relationships.

Class: How to Improve Your Life and Relationships by Mastering Your Emotions” (Master Your Emotions before they Master You”)

When: Wednesday, November 1 @ 7pm

Register Here

You’ll learn:

How to express your emotions in a calm, rational manner (so you can increase connection and caring in your relationships)

How to avoid the #1 mistake most people make that intensifies their feelings of “I can’t take it anymore.” (change this and you’ll be happier)

How to stop taking things ‘personal’ so you can stop being so easily offended (then watch your life and relationships get easier)

A simple and easy way to stop being so easily irritated and annoyed. (so you can have fun and enjoy your relationships)

How to intentionally choose your emotional responses even when someone is taking their bad day out on you. (so you don’t add more fuel to the fire)

Click Here to Register  and all the details will be sent to you.

Are you a stuffer, a leaker or a gusher?

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Are you a stuffer, a leaker or a gusher?

9701508 - cartoon jack in the box. isolated on white

Ever feel like you’re living inside of a jack in the box?

Often in our relationships, there’s a breakdown in communication.  Some people don’t communicate their feelings, instead they stuff them.  Others just let them leak out and others let their feelings gush out uncontrollably.

FREE ONLINE MASTER CLASS

Don’t miss Fay’s content packed FREE Online Class: 

“How to Improve Your Relationships by Mastering Your Emotions.”

Have you ever flown off the handle, lost it or stewed for days about anything?

Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone spewing their anger at you?

Then you know the damaging effects strong emotions can have.

In this class, you’ll learn to master your emotions so they don’t master you.

Date: Wednesday, November 1 @ 7pm

Register by clicking   here

 

Take Jack, for example.

Jack is a stuffer.

One day he gets upset with Tina because she didn’t follow through on talking to her boss about getting time off to go on a business trip with him. (“there she goes again—not caring about what’s important to me!”)

But, Jack’s a stuffer so he just stuffed it.

A week later, Tina really ticked Jack off when she forgot about an important work event he had asked her to attend. (“as usual, she never places a priority on what I need!”)

But, Jack’s a stuffer so he just stuffed it.

Then a couple weeks later, Jack resented the way Tina was ordering and bossing him around. (“How dare she talk to me like that!”)

But, Jack’s a stuffer so he just stuffed it.

A few more upsetting situations happened, but Jack didn’t want to “rock the boat,” so…..

Jack just stuffed it.

Now, it’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon and the day is going great, that is, until Tina accidentally spilled bleach on Jack’s shirt.  You would have thought World War III erupted.  Jack was livid!  Tina just stood there in awe, literally with her mouth hanging open, thinking “I had no idea that shirt was so important to him.”

The truth is, Jack hated that shirt.  It wasn’t about the shirt.  After several instances of “stuffing it,” all Jack’s buried emotions came out as venom towards Tina as if it was all about the shirt.

The shirt was really just the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Jack’s feelings were like a jack in the box.  Just think of the crank going round and round.  Compare that to emotions and feelings that are churning around and around until the top blows.

We all do it.  Everyone stuffs feelings. Is it healthy?  There are instances where it may be better to calm down so you don’t “tell someone off,” but to remain healthy, at some point, when we are calmed down, we need to express our feelings to others versus letting them be buried alive.

Feelings buried alive never die. They just come out later in uglier ways.

Can you relate? Have you ever wondered why you were so emotionally charged in a situation that wasn’t really that big of a deal?

If we express our feelings respectfully and calmly as they happen, we can help prevent ourselves from having ‘overly emotional’ reactions.

There are reasons you tend to be a “stuffer.” If the other person consistently negatively responds to your feelings, you learn to stuff them.

If you grew up in a home where people weren’t concerned about your feelings, you may have learned to stuff them.

It’s hard to have positive healthy relationships when you’re a stuffer.  Stuffing feelings causes emotional pain, which can even lead to physical symptoms. Headaches are common for people who do not deal with their feelings openly.

Stuffing is also hard on the person living with a stuffer because a stuffer often acts irritable, sometimes without even realizing it.  They hide their feelings but you can feel the negative energy in the air. But, they’ll say, “no, I’m not upset about anything.”

It’s like when someone says, “no, no I don’t mind” but you can tell they are seething inside.

It’s important to learn how to deal with emotions and feelings versus stuffing them so you can maintain good relationships with others.  Stuffing leads to bitterness and resentment, which can come out in ways that harm your relationships.

If you want to seek help so you can stop living like a Jack in the Box, join my FREE, online webinar on Wednesday, November 1 @ 7pm

“How to Improve Your Relationships by Mastering Your Emotions”

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to express your feelings in a calmrational manner (so you can increase connection and caring in your relationships)
  • How to avoid the #1 Mistake most people make that intensifies their feelings of “I can’t take it anymore!” (change this and you’ll be happier)
  • How to get a handle on ‘taking things personal’ so you can stop being so easily offended (then watch your life and relationships get easier!)
  • simple and easy way to stop being so easily irritated and annoyed (so you can have fun and enjoy your relationships)
  • How to intentionally choose your emotional responses even when someone is taking their bad day out on you (so you don’t add more fuel to the fire)

Plus More….

Register by clicking here

If you’d like to discover how Fay’s relationship/mindset coaching or speaking services can benefit you, call to schedule a FREE, no obligation get acquainted session. E-mail: fay@fayprairie.com   Phone: 507-829-0181

How to Manage your Emotions like a PRO

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22261855 - young woman showing several expressions, isolated on white background.

 

Do you ever wish your emotions didn’t get in the way? Would you like to remain calm and composed under pressure like a pro?

Your emotions can either help or hurt your performance. Pros are able to manage their emotions in any situation.

The pros don’t allow their emotions to control them, they don’t make unnecessary errors when frustrated or attack when they are angry. They can stay calm and composed even under strong emotions.

10 Tips to Manage your Emotions like a Pro:

  1. Self-awareness:

    It’s important to be aware of what situations cause you to become emotional; sad, nervous, worried, angry or frustrated. Identify specific situations; for example, “when people don’t do what they say they are going to,” “when people are rude,” “when people don’t say hello or acknowledge your presence” or “when people say a derogatory, negative comment.”

It’s important to understand what causes your out of control emotions.

Now you can be on the lookout for those “hot spots.”

  1. Use a thought diary:

    Identify and record which thoughts, emotions and behaviorsare showing up the most and when they are showing up. This will help you see your pattern and increase your self-awareness which is a HUGE step in managing your emotions.

  1. Understand how thoughts cause emotions:

    Thoughts help create emotions. For example thinking “They shouldn’t say they’re going to do something and then not do it” or “People should never talk to me in a negative way” will cause you to be frustrated.

Sometimes you may think you feel an emotion for no reason. For example you may be anxious and not know why, however often this is caused by worrying about what is going to happen. For example, you may be thinking, “I might not say the right thing” or “I might not know how to handle the situation” and these thoughts will cause you to be anxious as they create doubt and uncertainty in your ability.

Sometimes these thoughts can happen subconsciously without you realizing it. It takes a conscious effort to start to become aware of what’s playing beneath the surface.

The pros understand their thoughts and know they can control them in order to create productive emotions.

  1. Develop a routine:

    You need to create a refocusing routine to use every  time your mind leaves the zone and you become too emotional.

This should be a series of routines and strategies that you follow each time you feel your emotions heating up.  It’s like pressing the reset button on your mind so you can return to the calm and composed “zone.”

  1. Use breathing and relaxation techniques:

    Some of the common physical body responses when you get emotional are; muscle tension, increased heart rate and breathing, racing thoughts and feeling extra hot or cold. If you can learn to manage your body responses, you will be taking a big step in managing your feelings.

You can use techniques such as deep breathing, centering and muscle relaxation. With practice you will be able to use them successfully to manage your emotions within a few seconds or a few breaths.

  1. Visualization:

    This is a powerful technique that can help to remove or create emotions. It’s a skill like anything else that can be learned and improved with practice.

For example, to calm down you can visualize the color blue or peaceful scenes such as a beach or being immersed in your favorite activity.

You can also manage frustration and increase confidence or calm by visualizing in advance yourself responding confidently and calmly to situations.

  1. Understand Empowering vs Disempowering Thoughts:

    You need to recognize and understand the types of thoughts that increase uncomfortable emotions. Thoughts that disempower you are judging, complaining, focusing on mistakes, focusing on what you don’t want, or worrying about the future.

You can then identify when you are creating unhelpful emotions with your thoughts.

 Choose to use more helpful thoughts that will create more productive emotions.

Thoughts that help you include: Focusing on the present, positive affirmations, thinking more about what you want than what you don’t want, thoughts of appreciation and gratitude, and focusing on what you can learn from the situation.

  1. Thought control:

    Understand and use techniques to control your mind and your emotions. If you are able to identify when you are thinking incorrectly you can then use techniques such as, thought stopping, changing the channel and reframing.

Remember, you are in control of your mind and can choose what to think and what not to think.

  1. Develop emotional game plans:

    Use your knowledge gained from step one and make plans for the situations that cause your out-of-control emotions.

  1. Use positive body language:

    I’m sure you have heard of “fake it until you make it,” well it actually works and using the correct body languagecan actually change your emotions. For example if you are frustrated and you use positive body language instead of the usual negative responses, your mind will follow your body and you will start to think more positively.

Examples of this include: holding your head up high, making eye contact, sticking your chest up and keeping your back straight, walking with purpose and using energetic movements such as bouncing/jumping up and down.

Managing emotions so they don’t harm your relationships is a skill you can learn.

If you’d like to develop a customized, individualized plan, call and schedule a FREE, no obligation get acquainted session so you can learn more about Fay and her coaching services. Contact me by email: fay@fayprairie.com or by phone: 507-829-0181.