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One of the benefits of being in the spa industry is that I deal with people everyday, who need to learn to relax – and I’m paid to help them do it.

But this means, I too need to be relaxed – after all, the teacher cannot teach what they themselves haven’t learned.

Lately I’ve been involved in a series of interactions which have caused some personal emotional stress. And it has me wondering – when people are angry, critical, or are just plain sharing their feelings, how do I process the information/interaction in a healthy way?

How do I Tame My Gremlins?

Of course, each situation is so different that there isn’t necessarily one surefire way of handling everything, so here are some ideas that help me cope and navigate my way through uncomfortable relational situations:

  • Be fully present in each situation – Breathe, slow down, and let myself feel whatever comes up.
  • Do more listening and less talking – While listening, let the other know they are heard and check in to be sure they feel understood.
  • Ask for permission to share how I feel – Not everyone is receptive to listening, and sharing when the other isn’t, can leave you in a worse place.
  • Be more curious than furious – Questions are helpful when communication stalls or becomes tense.
  • Be “in choice” rather than reactive  – If I start to feel uncomfortable in my body, it is a clue I need to listen – maybe the conversation needs to be rescheduled to a time when we’ve had a chance to calm down.
  • Don’t take it personally – Realize that each person has a very unique frame of reference/history that I have simply stumbled into with my words or actions. I’m not bad, it’s not all my fault, or all about me.
  • Be accountable – If you do or say something you regret later, or if the situation was unfinished, re-visit it if the other party is receptive at an appropriate time.
  • Check your heart – Intention is so important; I need to ask myself what will be the response that honors me as well as the other person.
  • Take care of yourself – If the situation doesn’t resolve well, or is drawn out over time, I can “ramp up” my self care. This is where a visit to the spa comes in!
  • Press on! – There is a verse in the Bible in the book of Philippians which guides me – it talks about pressing on toward the goal for the prize. What’s your prize, your high calling – happiness, joy, peace, harmony?

See you at the new spa!

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