- It might be that you do nothing and say nothing. Sometimes an issue can just blow over and evaporate.
- You could decide to be understanding and accommodating. Maybe you dislike conflict, feel as though you’re in a losing spot or politically it’s best if you concede.
- Perhaps you try to establish agreement with the other person that you should collaborate. That means incorporate your differences and find a way to make the situation functional for both of you.
- Consider the possibility of compromising.
- Openly bring others into the process for different perspectives and advice if that is a socially and politically correct option at your workplace.
- Make sure your course of action is warranted by the facts of your situation and is reasonable under the circumstances.
I look at self-compassion as different from the hippie-type statements that abound telling you to love yourself and going so far as to say if you can’t love yourself you’ll never be able to love anyone else. People who have a dreaded fear of being arrogant, who self-punish for errors or who believe they’re not good enough are going to be immune to the self-love rhetoric.
The way I find to translate self-compassion to someone for whom it is a foreign concept is to demonstrate that he/she already has some, even if it’s rudimentary. I start by asking the individual to describe his/her characteristics that he/she values. Then we talk about the fact that maintaining a personality with desirable features in it means they must have told themselves they were doing something right. And they were probably good and kind to themselves when they evidenced these characteristics. That’s the beginning of self-compassion.
Basically, the world is a hard, cold place if there’s little empathy, kindness and care in it. Someone with little self-compassion is creating a hostile environment for him/herself, which tends to be very hard on him/her and brings out the worst in him/her. The biggest culprit for this kind of emotional starvation is self-criticism which is aimed at self-punishment and self-control. It tends to backfire because it results in living your life intimately tied to your past and the low points of it. You can easily end up repeating your mistakes this way.
It tends to show when someone has poor self-compassion. The individual may come across as tightly wound, typically aiming for less than he/she deserves, feeling low or hopeless. You’ll hear one friend saying to another ‘You need to stop beating yourself up.’ It can happen that a person lacking kindness and care for him/herself also broods and harbors resentment towards others. The theme may be that he/she doesn’t know why he/she doesn’t deserve better treatment than that.
What’s best for the self and for relationships is an acknowledgment of mistakes or problems, being in touch with the emotions that go with them. Then, doing what you need to do to resolve the issue, get past it and move forward. Your self-compassion is invaluable in this because it increases your emotional resilience and problem-solving ability.
My most successful strategy to cultivate self-compassion is telling people that it simply doesn’t make sense not to have it. Without it they have a false negative view of themselves and possibly of others. I don’t advocate false positives either. I recommend neutral or fact-based views of themselves that include a rationale for kindness and care towards themselves.
I also ask what would happen if someone gave them a pill loaded with self-compassion; what would be the instant effect of that? Usually the answer is that they are unburdened and can move forward, feeling good.
According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages. Harville Hendrix has told us that we make good, bad and indifferent choices of partners and need to learn how to make the relationships work. I say there’s a piece missing: We need more than how to communicate love to each other and how to develop good patterns of relating. My point is that lovers need to also know how their individual chemistry works; what is their attitude to love? That tells you by what mechanism the feelings of tenderness, passion and lust flow.
So, what is an attitude to love? Quite simply, it’s a set of thoughts and feelings that determines how you think, feel and behave when you’re in love. It reveals what love is for you. Basically, the attitudes fall into one of four categories. There’s passion, dignity, peace and joy; the core units from which love is created.
If you’re a Red-hot Lover, you feel a passionate connection to your lover. And that means you can be very sensitive, experience heartfelt emotion, go through drama and even chaos, all in the name of love.
As a Courageous Adventurer, you answer to yourself and highly value respect. This makes you ever so slightly mysterious, with a slant on life that means a lot to you. You can be very humorous, often with a dry wit.
Alternatively, you could be a Sensible Compromiser who values being calm and reasonable. You give unconditional love and support and do your best to prevent disappointment.
And then there’s the Joyful Diversionist who is young at heart, in love with love and adores all that’s spontaneous and glorious. This makes you a reluctant adult who dislikes it when anybody rains on your parade by telling you to deal with hard, cold facts and problems.
To be able to generate love in the first place and keep it going, you need to know your attitude to love, the core chemical unit from which your love is created.