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Friday, June 13, 2008
How To Spell Coping Mechanisms? R-E-S-P-E-C-T
9 Sivan 5768
I'm tossing in a bonus post for Father's Day. Many of the men in my life have been models of magnificent compassion and insight. Here's my salute to you, and to my own father (may his memory be for a blessing):
Some of my blog and book readers plus my Self-Help Coaching clients ask me for a quick explanation of my coping mechanisms. I can answer academically (I use various tools proven by time), but the true, better answer comes with your personal experience at coping. A person growing in coping competence knows, in their gut, what it feels like to fail to cope and what it feels like to succeed at coping. And they learn to admit those feelings to themselves and to critically important others in their life.
Here's the rest of my "Quickie" explanation of coping mechanisms:
NAME YOUR FEELING (including the ugly, embarrassing ones) or the feeling of the distressed person speaking with you. That makes it more “real.” Now you can deal with it.
CONVERSE ABOUT THE FEELING(S) with the caring person(s) involved in your life. Seek sensible strategies for managing the situation before you and/or the emotions popping up with that situation. Your increasing Self-Awareness can clue you in to your gut reactions (your completely honest initial response to anything at all). Go with your gut! If the decision you’ve made feels right, your tummy will feel calm and spread calmness throughout your body. If the decision is NOT good for you, you’ll feel the trouble. Cancel THAT decision!
RESPECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS. When you’re dialoguing about conflicting, mysterious emotions, don’t insult yourself or anyone else by remarking "Well, what do I know? I'm so stupid," “That’s not true!” or “No, you don’t know what you’re talking about (see my book’s opening remarks for a superb example about that problem).” Dismissive remarks are brutal. If you "Diss" yourself, your self-esteem eventually hits below bottom. What can happen when you reject someone else's thoughts? The victim of the insult will probably stop sharing honest thoughts with you, lie to you (honesty obviously doesn't matter anymore), and suffer more because the solution-oriented conversation died at birth.
REACT WITH RESPECT (genuine respect). That keeps the dialogue going (plus the relationship!). The solution can soon follow.
ZIP YOUR LIPS. The human brain needs an editor. Not all thoughts deserve to be said aloud or acted upon. Plan your remarks and your behavior. Learn to be silent as you consider your next sentence and/or action. See above paragraph ;^ )
SEEK OUT learned opinions and PEOPLE WITH PRODUCTIVE EXPERIENCES. Let them guide you as necessary.
The moment you feel elevated by your efforts, you'll know you've surpassed your previous limitations. You've grown as a person. It's a spiritual experience. That can take you to a whole 'nuther level of coping: Bringing GOD into your life ;^ )
Relationships can improve and sweeten as everyone around you learns that you embrace them, and yourself, with honesty and acceptance. Some folks will need more time than others to become comfortable with the new you. Allow them time to adjust. You'll both be happier for it.
There's more to the world of coping mechanisms, of course. But the best-laid plans and good intentions MUST turn into hard work if you want to realize RESULTS! Read my book and find out what some other coping mechanisms are. The "Suggested Reading List" in my book's "Resource" section provides more clues to managing emotions.
To your good health,
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