Report The News – Don’t Act It Out

Welcome!

This is the fifth article in a year-long series about the “12-most-important-relationship-skills-no-one-ever-taught-me-in-school-but-I-sure-wish-they-did.”

Click the box for the full list →    →    →Top 12 Relationship Skills

January’s tip was to Recognize (and get to know) the many “yous.

See January 7th14th, 21st & 28th).

The next important skill I wish I’d learned builds upon these ideas: I wish I’d learned how to be pro-active and choose how I show up in my relationships.

Put another way, who is really in charge of all these inner parts? Do they duke it out and the Part with the meanest emotions gets to win? It can certainly feel like that. What happens when I swear up and down I’m going to be ~

  • A calm good listener when my teenager has a melt down – but I end up screaming too;
  • Trusting as my spouse goes through job interviews – but I end up offering advice and we fight;
  • Open to feedback at my annual review – but I’m defensive and whiny;
  • Patient with my aged parents – but frustration totally takes over.

Not that I’m comparing or anything, but it seems to me that some folks can actually stay on script. If they decide to be good listeners, or trusting or open minded or patient – astonishingly they are. They have “a decider” and they listen to him or her.

They seem to have some on-board leadership.

This month I’ll help you discover and strengthen your own self-leadership.

************

WHAT DOES SELF-LEADERSHIP LOOK LIKE?

Being self-led is in the same area of self-mastery as ~

  • self-control
  • being conscious
  • having the lights on in the attic
  • being awake
  • being enlightened.

They are big ideas and can seem too grand or unattainable.

But, when you bite off one small ability at a time, this is a very do-able skill. Brings to mind my motto for this year which is on my favorite mug .Cup & PotThe goal (or “aim” since this is not a goal-oriented journey) of self-leadership is that you become increasingly aware of what you ~

  • Feel
  • Think
  • Believe
  • Say
  • Do

This idea underpins every self-improvement journey – emotional, cognitive, spiritual, narrative & behavioral  – that you undertake. What we are looking for here is a way to take a meta position in our day to day experience. This means we are able to cultivate a little distance between the ~

  • one who feels, and the one who notices that you have certain feelings
  • one who thinks, and the one who notices that you have certain thoughts
  • one who believes, and the one who notices that you have certain beliefs
  • one who speaks, and the one who notices that you are saying certain things
  • one who acts, and the one who notices that you are acting in a certain way.

Do you see it?

You are already more than one person. You are the one feeling, thinking, believing, speaking and acting, as well as the one who notices your self doing all of this.

Of all the 12 relationship skills I’m exploring this year, getting your heart and mind around this one point will probably pay the biggest dividends.

The best metaphor I can come up with today is . . . the weather report.

Yup – the weather report on TV. It’s not meant to be entertaining. It’s meant to give you useful news-you-can-use as you go about your day. It’s usually delivered in a similar format you come to count on, and it’s not too hyped up or prone to exaggeration.

Here’s one from the BBC describing the weather expected on June 12, 2011. You don’t need to watch much to get the idea. The reporter calmly observes what is happening and what might soon be happening. There’s not too much drama and this allows you to take it all in.

Now watch the one below and notice the difference.

 

The second one is goofy and fun, I know. But here’s how to use this contrast to think about the first step in becoming more conscious about your own emotional, Parts-driven process.

There is a BIG difference between reporting the weather with some perspective of the big picture, and reporting the weather by acting out each possible meteorological event. The first method gives a reassuring sense that the BBC and its reporters will prevail – no matter what the weather. The second one has us feeling buffeted and concerned that the studios themselves will be knocked off-kilter by the storms they are reporting on.

Same for how you report on your inner Parts. If you can cultivate that bit of distance from their emotional content, and report on them from a distance, the listener will have the sense that there is someone in charge. But if you get pulled into any particular Parts storm (screaming, crying, arguing, playing victim, etc) the listener gets buffeted about and will be reacting to just that Part. Instead, you want them to be in relationship to you. The all of you. When that one who notices does the reporting, he or she can see the big picture and take the lead.

Here is what it looks like to report FOR your Parts versus FROM your Parts.

A) FOR YOUR PARTS – “You know, Part of me feels a bit skeptical about this explanation and another Part is frustrated since finding just the right metaphor is tough. But I gotta tell you this is playful and fun and there are Parts of me really hoping you like this.”

Versus

B) FROM YOUR PARTS – “You might hate this and I’m having a really hard time figuring out how to describe my main point. But I really hope you like it.”

What do you notice about your reaction to these two ways I’ve just communicated with you?

What I notice is that when I speak FOR my parts (example A), I am able to hold my ideas and agenda more lightly. I’m able to see which Parts of me are showing up. Noticing and reporting lets me slow things down. And as I name the Parts I don’t feel so overtaken by them. In fact, just the act of reporting on them give me some perspective and distance.

When I speak FROM my parts, I feel less resourceful, more wedded to an agenda (that you like my work) and somehow I feel more needy. Like my happiness is dependent upon your response to me. Yuk!

OK, let’s go back to the 4 examples at the start of this bog written in blue type. These are examples of how I want to behave in one way, but end up behaving quite differently. Here’s how these situations could be transformed by this one skill: The skill of Reporting FOR instead of speaking FROM your Parts.

READY?

 You want to be ~

1)            A calm good listener when your teenager has a melt down, but you end up screaming too;

  • Think S.O.S.
  • STOP                    and take a deep breath.
  • OBSERVE             your impulses. What Parts are up?
  • SPEAK UP            Report on your inner Parts situation, like the weather person does.

e.g.; “Oh boy Molly. When you end up screaming at me, Part of me wants to scream right back at you. I’m a whole mix of emotions. Part is just plain mad for sure. But Part of me is frightened – I always worry when you are out in the car late. Part of me is disappointed since I thought we’d been through this last week and made a plan. And Part of me totally empathizes with you. I did things like this when I was your age.”

2)            Trusting, as your spouse goes through job interviews, but you end up offering advice and  having a fight;

  • Think S.O.S.
  • STOP                    and take a deep breath.
  • OBSERVE             your impulses. What Parts are up?
  • SPEAK UP            Report on your inner Parts situation, like the weather person does.

e.g., “You know Bill, when you tell me about your interviews I have all these mixed responses. Part of me wants to help by giving advice but I know that bugs you and makes you think I don’t trust you. Part of me feels so proud of you – that you keep on going even after several rejections. Part of me wants to rescue you and say to give up – it’s too hard! What do you need from me right now?”

For the above examples, you could give your Parts report out loud.

These next two are more subtle because you’ll be better off giving yourself your own inner Parts Report before you say anything. You want to be ~

3)             Open to feedback in your annual review – but you are defensive and whiny

  • Think S.O.S.
  • STOP                    and take a deep breath.
  • OBSERVE            your impulses. What Parts are up?
  • SPEAK UP           Report to yourself on what is happening for you.

e.g., “Humm I can feel my cheeks reddening and I’m mad this guy hasn’t noticed all the great things I’ve done. I want to defend myself but don’t want to come off as defensive and whiny. Let me think of what to say that keeps me respectful but powerful.”

 4)            Patient with your aged parents – but frustration totally takes over.

  • Think S.O.S.
  • STOP                    and take a deep breath.
  • OBSERVE            your impulses. What Parts are up?
  • SPEAK UP           Report to yourself on what is happening for you.

e.g., “Ok deep breath time. I know Dad is lonesome and loves to tell his tales. But I’ve heard that story what — 1,000 times now? Part of me is about to hit the walls and another Part wants to interrupt and head him off at the pass. Can I think of a story that I might actually enjoy hearing again?”

WANT TO TRY SOMETHING?

See if you can report on your inner Parts – like the BBC reporter. You can try saying what you notice out loud to someone “You know, Part of me wants to go to that movie with you, and Part of me really wants to stay home with a good book.”

NEXT

Once you know how to notice and report on your inner Parts activity, you’ll be ready to know how to make decisions, based upon this information. Like the “go-to-movie-or-stay-home” dilemma above. Now you notice the varying points of view, how does your decider decide?

HINT – it has a great deal to do with the wisdom of your inner “one who notices.”

FEATURED IMAGE

Prince Charles reading the Scottish weather forecast on the BBC, back on May 10th 2012.

45 thoughts on “Report The News – Don’t Act It Out

  1. Pingback: Happy Families? | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  2. Pingback: Self Leadership | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  3. Pingback: When Does A Relationship Need Help | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  4. Pingback: 5 Non-Verbal Cues You Need to Know | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  5. Pingback: How To Change Someone Else | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  6. Pingback: 2 Magic Ratios for Great Relationships | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  7. Pingback: Is Understanding Overrated? | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  8. Pingback: Five Conversations | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  9. Pingback: How To Never Be Boring | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  10. Pingback: The 5 Principles For Great Conversation | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  11. Pingback: The 7 Deadliest Fights & How To Fight Fair | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  12. Pingback: The 7 Deadliest Fights – Part 2 | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  13. Pingback: 5 Ways To Be A Better Listener | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  14. Pingback: Listening to Yourself | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  15. Pingback: Who’s Listening? | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  16. Pingback: Beyond Emotion Coaching-Listening For Your Child’s Needs | Gemma Utting MA, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  17. Pingback: Thriving Through Tough Times | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  18. Pingback: Teaching Empathy to Adults | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ A Skilled, Experienced Therapist & Coach

  19. Pingback: Teaching Empathy to Children | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  20. Pingback: Living Empathically | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  21. Pingback: Kindness Is Key | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  22. Pingback: Cultivating Kindness | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  23. Pingback: Can We Ever Be Too Kind? | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  24. Pingback: Independence, Co-dependence and Interdependence | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  25. Pingback: One Small Step Toward Self Compassion | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  26. Pingback: The #1 Reason Marriages Fail | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  27. Pingback: How To Negotiate The Small Stuff in Marriage | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  28. Pingback: How To Negotiate The BIG Stuff | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  29. Pingback: Values Worth Fighting For | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  30. Pingback: The Alphabet of Trust | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  31. Pingback: Can We Trust Too Much? | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  32. Pingback: How To Trust Yourself | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  33. Pingback: Before You Trust Again | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  34. Pingback: Apology ‘Fails” | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  35. Pingback: The Anatomy of a Bad Apology | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  36. Pingback: The Anatomy of a Good Apology | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  37. Pingback: The Anatomy of a Great Apology | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  38. Pingback: Cake or Death? Forgiveness & Revenge as Evolutionary Bedfellows | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  39. Pingback: Why Forgive? | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  40. Pingback: The Nine Steps to Forgiveness | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  41. Pingback: Forgive Yourself Already! | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  42. Pingback: Letting Go of The Past | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  43. Pingback: In This Moment, Let This Go… | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  44. Pingback: Great Expectations – A Story | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

  45. Pingback: The #1 Relationship Skill | Gemma Utting MA, LMFT, CLC ~ Couple & Individual Therapy, Parent Support, Pre-Marriage Prep & Relationship Skill Building.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s