How many times have you been faced with a comment from someone that has triggered negative emotions inside of you, and long after the interaction is over you find yourself playing the comment over and over in your mind, coming up with responses that you wished you’d been quick enough to reply with at the time? The comments people make about us, either directly or indirectly, can stay with us for years. They hang around in our psyche and continue to impact how we feel about ourselves long after the interaction took place. I’m sure you experience this a lot at work, with those angry clients who verbally attack you because an “unexpected charge” has appeared on their bill, or when they find out their insurance won’t cover the level of treatment their pet needs. They attack not just the profession and its “money grabbing ways” but they attack you personally; they make out that YOU are only in it for the money etc. Why do other people’s words have such an impact on us? Why can’t other people be more mindful and respectful about how they speak to others? What if I told you that what other people think of you is none of your business? Literally none of your business. I’m going to break this down for you... We all live in the same world, but we don’t all experience the same reality. Your reality and my reality are two very different places. Why is that? From the moment we are born we begin to experience the world. A few years into our life, we begin to make meaning of our experiences. We learn the meaning of our experiences based on our interaction with situations (such as realising that if you touch the cooker it is going to burn your hand), but we also learn the meaning of our experiences based on our early interactions with our parents and loved ones, then later through our interactions with our peers and general society. The meaning we make of our experiences later turn into what we believe about ourselves, about others and about the world. Then, our beliefs directly impact how we perceive reality because they become the filters through which we process information. These filters impact how you experience reality and also how you show up to it. Consider this for a moment - nobody in the entire world has experienced your reality in exactly the way you have. And nobody in the world has experienced the ‘vet-bashing client’s’ reality in exactly the way they have. There are an infinite number of reasons why vet-bashing clients attack veterinary professionals in the way they do. Purely for example purposes, one of those options could be that in their reality they have certain beliefs about money which impacts their relationship with it, their perception of cost and value, and they probably spend their lives living in a state of lack believing that other people are out to take their money. What this all means is, whatever someone thinks or feels about you is nothing to do with you and everything to do with them, and it’s completely outside of your control. Every single person out there, your partner, your mother, your father, your siblings, your friends, every person you’ve ever met - they all have a different version of you in their heads and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. And there’s nothing you need to do about it. If you spend all your time worrying about what other people think, you’ll have very little energy left to channel into what really matters. If this is a problem for you, there are a few ways to overcome this.
Step 1 is to understand what I’ve already spoken about. Your reality vs. someone else’s reality will never be the same. People will create impressions and opinions about you based on their model of the world.
Step 2 is to understand people project their “stuff” onto their external environment. If they are annoyed at you, they are mostly likely annoyed at themselves. If they are angry about money, it’s because they have issues around money.
Step 3 is to be accountable and take responsibility for your own “stuff”. This idea of someone projecting their stuff onto their external reality also applies to you. Notice why you react the way you do to things people say or do and ask yourself what needs to be shifted inside of you to ensure their words or actions no longer have an impact on you. You are perceiving the situation a certain way and responding to it based on your own beliefs about yourself and the world. You’ll know when you’ve mastered this when things that once triggered you just pass you by unnoticed.
Step 4 is to live with integrity. The definition of integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”
If this is something you struggle with then I know you will appreciate the value of experiencing your reality differently. In order to do that, there will be some underlying beliefs that need to shift and some values that your life needs to be in alignment with. Book a coaching consultation with me and we can talk about how to make this happen.
Rachael Paul Life Coach & NLP Practitioner Simply Veterinary Coaching www.simplyveterinarycoaching.com