Do you get sick of people who keep pushing your buttons? Like they just don't respect your boundaries?
I had a coaching conversation recently. A client frustrated by an over-bearing colleague: "he keeps poking his nose in, and he doesn't NEED to be involved!"
And I agreed. But agreeing wasn't going to change their feelings. On the surface this might seem to be about boundaries. About right and wrong.
But it goes deeper than that.
A 'need to' often points towards a rule we have. A belief about how the world 'should' be. And sometimes these are helpful (we all need to eat). But sometimes they send us in circles.
On exploring, we discovered the colleague's behaviour left my client feeling undermined. Unimportant. And like they'd failed. So, to them, it made sense to argue "it just shouldn't happen".
If only their colleague saw it that way.
Rules are often the mind's attempt to bring certainty and safety. Create order from chaos. Which works well when everyone's working from the same rulebook. But we all see the world differently. And with multiple rulebooks, attempts at order-creation can leave things more chaotic than they began.
And this is where we get caught up.
Because it isn't about the rules. It's about what the rules stand for. Their intention. It's about what the rules protect us from.
My client got sucked in to a debate about the right-and-wrong of involvement. When it was really about how they felt about themselves. Because it can feel safer to fight for rightness than admit how we feel, can't it?
When my client recognised this trick-of-the-mind they went back to their colleague. It turns out he'd been feeling left out and unimportant too. And once the conversation turned from the outside of shoulds to the inside of reflection and openness, the way forward appeared much clearer.
Rules can be helpful. But rarely so when they're based in fear.
"What does this keep me safe from? If there was something I'm actually avoiding, what would it be?"
Let's start with a more honest dialogue. Which is most effective when it begins with ourselves.
(Getting frustrated all the time, struggling with your relationships, or finding it difficult to talk about how you feel? Cognitive Hypnotherapy in Leighton Buzzard can help you. Get in touch to learn how)