How does it make you feel to hear something GOOD about yourself? Do you squirm? Feel uncomfortable? Or, do you smile and graciously say “Thank you!”
Of course I’m not saying that those inappropriate remarks like “oh you’ve lost so much weight!” are helpful, but I’m talking about genuine, heartfelt sincere words of encouragement and appreciation.
My husband and I recently visited a new local restaurant recommended to us by our neighbours (gotta have good neighbours… ♪)
I walked into the ladies restrooms and could see a tall woman… standing in front of the full length mirror near the window, checking herself out from head to toe. Not checking herself out with appreciation, like “woe, look at me – don’t I look good!” No. She looked worried and concerned, and was trying to see if her dress was doing what it was supposed to. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
I took this all in as I waltzed to the washbasin to wash my hands. I smiled at her and said “you look beautiful!” (with sincerity and warmth). Now. How do you think she responded? Can you guess?
She immediately spun round and started giving me a lecture about how I shouldn’t judge people by their looks, and that “inside” is was really counts…
Woe. I was taken aback. I told her I agreed with her.
She made some joke about lecturing me, laughed, and walked out the room.
I was surprised. Not what I expected.
Has this ever happened to you? How did it feel? What did you notice?
It left me wondering about what might have been going on for her. I say “wondering” because we can never truly know what another person is thinking or experiencing.
Instead of just saying “thank you” she reacted defensively. Have you ever done this?
She thought she heard something else. Has this ever happened to you?
She thought she heard me judging her. Have you ever interpreted other people’s kindness as judgement of you?
What she was doing, without realising (unconsciously) She was projecting her own self-judgement of herself and how she looked, onto her outside world, and made an assumption that because she judges herself, that everybody else would be automatically judging her too. Have you ever done this?
This happens to anyone who has a negative, harsh, critical, inner critic, or gremlin, as some people like to call it, and as we call it in the Clarity Catalyst Course that I teach.
Viewing life through a lens of judgement… means that we WILL misunderstood ourselves and other people.
If you view life through a certain lens or filter, that is what you’re going to see. Your world will be coloured by that filter / lens automatically.
It will be a habitual way of looking at the world. A “natural”, automatic perspective you will have about yourself, the world, and people around you.
And, more than likely, because you walk around the world with this perspective, judgement, attitude, belief and expectation, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
You inevitably create situations and experiences with yourself and others that reflect your inner beliefs, perspectives, judgements and filters.
Which gives you MORE evidence, that you are “right”. Right about yourself. Right about your judgements. Right about the world. And Right about other people.
Which only really serves to reinforce your own negative beliefs…. creating a viscous feedback loop that you can’t get out of, unless you stop, pay attention, have this awareness of whats happening and change it.
As many relationship experts have said, you can either choose to be “right”, OR, you can choose to be in relationship. You can’t have both. You get to choose.
So, what is important to you? Being “right”? or being connected in right relationship?
We all have these moments and interesting interactions… sometimes with strangers, sometimes with colleagues and sometimes with people we love and admire. And, we get to choose. We get to choose how to respond.
I loved this quote by Dale Carnegie “A person convinced against their will, is of the same opinion still.”
This beautiful woman wasn’t able to hear the message I was sharing with her, or feel the intention behind my words, (which shows you that sometimes, despite your best efforts and intentions, no matter what your intentions are….. other people may still misunderstand what you are trying to say.)
At first I was shocked and surprised after having a deluge of criticism from this woman who I was being kind to…. and then I realised that her outburst was *not about me.* It was about her. Ever have someone dump on you for apparently no reason at all? I can relate.
The truth is, you cannot receive from others, what you are not willing to give to yourself first.
ALL relationships with other people start with our relationship with ourselves.
This is the truth. I can tell you that when you change your relationship with yourself, then your relationships with other people will change too.
It all starts with YOU.
So, can you receive a compliment? Are you ready to end the viscous repeating negative cycle in your relationships? If so, and you’d like support with this, book your complimentary conversation with me here and get your FREE cheat sheet on how to respond to compliments from other people if this is something uncomfortable for you.The truth is, you cannot receive from others, what you are not willing to give to yourself first. ~Shona SharmaClick To Tweet
I’d like to invite you to ask yourself: How much goodness, love and kindness am I willing to allow into my life?
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