Not a week goes by in our lives when we don’t hear criticism of us. Of course, it may not be meant as criticism, but as an opinion, but sometimes we are still shocked and wonder why the person said that and how they thought it at the time.
Often we just stand there and stare and feel helpless. Especially in a society where the “unwritten” “office rules” for polite, friendly, smiling interactions are strictly “set”, “set in stone” so to speak, where we do not (even casually) speak our mind about the person or the work in front of (or behind) them.
Dealing with frustration
And this leads to enormous frustration for the listener because 1. he feels criticised either by himself or his work 2. he can’t tell anyone and he then takes it home with him. In the best case he lives alone and at most breaks a few plates, in the worst case there is a partner, maybe even a child. There’s plenty of advice out there on how NOT to be frustrated and how to (not) make it work, but let’s face it, when you’re at 180°, full speed, those are not the things that come to mind. At least NOT for me.
An example: The child came back from ski camp frustrated. His mouth was sore and he had been teased. The first thing it says is that it wants to punch the others in the face. All of them. The anger, the rage, was still in his little soul. In such cases, we can’t talk to ANYONE with common sense because the emotional charge is so strong that you only focus on what is going on inside you. As adults, we don’t function any differently (Conflict De-Escalation Techniques).
Listening is the best response
We did one thing: we listened, we told the truth where the truth could be told, and we let out everything that needed to come out. Only THEN were we able to talk to him, and only then was he able to listen and understand us (in short, anger, rage, fear are understandable feelings, the solution is not to beat everyone up, no matter how much you want to).
Many people make the mistake of trying to reassure the other person: “Oh, don’t take it so seriously, you know how he/she is!” Others try to comfort the person by saying, “It will pass” (it will NOT pass) … that’s like giving an angry bull chamomile tea to make him sit down and calm down (FYI, he will NOT sit down and calm down).
It is not our partner’s fault if we are angry and tense. Therefore, we should not pour everything we have into them. It is better to calm down in a secluded place than to throw plates at each other at home. Maybe he/she also had a tense day: there are two tense people attacking each other? That is how quarrels arise (How to fight with your partner according to Psychologists).
Staying with oneself
Only when we are alone, can we collect our thoughts and control our breathing, can our inner self calm down. Only then can we turn to the other person and tell them what has happened to us. Only when we have calmed down can we make decisions about what we want to do and how we plan our next steps.
Unspoken words and unresolved conflicts only lead to further conflicts at work or at home. Therefore, we should not only (because politeness and a friendly atmosphere at work or at home, also have their advantages) respect the “unwritten office rules”, but also stand up for ourselves and show our boundaries, who can go how far. If we don’t, our self-esteem and self-confidence will suffer.
And that is not worth it: or is it?
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