SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information (https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/)
-   Friends and Family of Alcoholics (https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/friends-family-alcoholics/)
-   -   Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don't say it mean (https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/friends-family-alcoholics/425536-say-what-you-mean-mean-what-you-say-dont-say-mean.html)

lizatola 03-27-2018 05:56 AM

Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don't say it mean
 
Hi everyone, I keep lurking but haven't posted for a while. New job is going well and I find the corporate culture to be agreeable and even the 45 min commute doesn't really bother me.

How are you all doing? I wish I had the time to post more, honestly, but I'm in bed by 9 these days, lol.

I'm posting because I'm really struggling with the concept I stated in the title. How to communicate without defensiveness or being mean. That is a HUGE problem for me and is causing my relationship with my bf to suffer mainly because he's just as bad at communicating as I am. I usually let my emotions get the better of me and I lash out in anger or I overreact and then realize later how I could have handled things better. It's like I come up with the words to say in my thoughts and I have it all planned out and then BAM! my emotions take over and I accuse him of things I know aren't true, I put my own defenses up, or I sulk and get really quiet and I get inside my head trying to figure out what the heck my problem is that I can't seem to speak what I want with clarity.

Now, the bigger problem is that I carry this behavior over into my work and I'm in a service environment. I take things personal and have difficulty with constructive criticism. And, so all my defense mechanisms come out and I snap at coworkers or I'm short with them. My manager has already identified me for a possible new position in our division that would be highly sought after. She sees potential and leadership skills in me and I know I'd be great at it, but i have to keep my emotional stuff in check.

So, any suggestions?

hearthealth 03-27-2018 06:12 AM

Before the first words, as the first thoughts come to your mind, I go to some place peaceful. I leave the room. I just don't engage. I think about it at my leisure at a different time and place. I journal. Maybe a counselor would help you to vent safely?

soberista 03-27-2018 06:24 AM

Maybe have a look at this and identify the times you are not speaking adult to adult but going into another ego state.

(Perhaps this is you in child ego state. "I accuse him of things I know aren't true, I put my own defenses up, or I sulk and get really quiet" and also "I take things personal and have difficulty with constructive criticism."

Not saying it is different to anyone else. For example the other my partner walked into the house in really muddy shoes and I immediately went into critical parent mode. However in an ideal world we are trying to get to communicating with everyone on an adult to adult exchange. Maybe look first at the YouTube clip and then have a google round Transactional Analysis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdnD0XxK8jM

https://www.counselling-directory.or...-analysis.html

Hope that helps

Bekindalways 03-27-2018 06:58 AM

Ugh Lizatola I so get going into adult melt down mode. Not fun.

I have always speculated that this is when we are coming from some place of great inner wounds. Perhaps meditation can help but I can't say that the sad/angry/yuck emotions come up when I'm meditating.

I've found my own melt down let me understand others who lash out. Years ago I was more judgmental of this type of thing but now I look at some one being an a$$ and think, "Ah you are so my brother/sister in your woundedness."

If you find something that helps let us know.

FireSprite 03-27-2018 07:35 AM


Originally Posted by Bekindalways (Post 6838849)
I've found my own melt down let me understand others who lash out. Years ago I was more judgmental of this type of thing but now I look at some one being an a$$ and think, "Ah you are so my brother/sister in your woundedness."

Amen, sister. Me too.

For me I found that I was partially speaking through my wounds at times like these & partially just repeating poorly learned communication skills from my FOO that I was knee-jerk reacting with instinctively. The result was that I sort of came at every discussion from a place of defensiveness, which also meant I was subconsciously viewing it as a win/lose every time instead of just an interaction & often closing myself off from properly receiving information in the process.

And when the other person IS acting like a butthead it can be impossibly hard to remember that it's not personal, no matter how personally affected we are. That was the hardest part for me, hands down. I probably read The Four agreements 3 times before I could even approach the idea from a neutral place but when I got it, I GOT IT. I still struggle with it because it's not-yet my New Normal, but I do try very hard to be mindful of it.

Meditation is irreplaceable to me as a daily habit for being able to examine & change these kinds of behaviors. It continually brings my awareness back to me, back to what I can control, back to my hula hoop.

HardLessons 03-27-2018 09:04 AM

For about the first year with my addict, I was not vocal at all. I saw things I didn't like & had concerns but I did not voice them (or rarely said anything)

As time went on she disclosed most everything to me. I began to read online & here on SR. I learned a lot about drug abuse & addiction. I learned a lot about her.

There came a time when I started to voice my concerns. There were times when I did not handle myself well. I lost my cool with her. At times I said things in a very mean & hurtful way. I hurt her deeply. She told me.

I regret the fact that I said things in a mean way & hurt her. Whenever it happened I did apologize to her. It was not my intension to hurt her.

I always like this phrase however I did not do a very good job of not saying things in a mean way. Especially during the last 8 months of our relationship.

Thanks

hopeful4 03-27-2018 09:30 AM

I work in the corporate world. It could be ran better, so there are MANY things that drive me crazy. I usto get really angry and be the outspoken advocate. Now, I have changed it up based on the advise of my mentor.

He told me that I need to remember if my temper gets out of check I am discrediting myself and how I am viewed as a manager. That I need to hold what I say for 24 hours before saying (or emailing) it, and to make sure it is phrased in a way that makes me look competent. To remember that I am wearing my "manager shoes" at all times, and my behavior should reflect that.

Learning to communicate better in my home has come with counseling. I was much the same. I would stuff things until I did not, then they came out in a way that is not constructive at all. If you put others on the defense, they are never listening to you, and you to them. Everyone is busy thinking of what they will say next.

I read books on communication. I went to counseling. I journal. I practice difficult conversations on my sister (lucky her lol) as she is trained in a field with specialty training in communication. And...last, but definitely not least, I learned to let a few things go. That not every single thing has to be a battle. I don't want to be a right fighter. I want to have happy and healthy relationships with those around me, and sometimes that means if it's not a huge deal, you let it go.

I hope this helps friend!

dandylion 03-27-2018 10:12 AM

Liz....just a couple of questions....(you have actually mentioned this in a couple of posts, previously)....
At what age do you remember this beginning....(from childhood on)....?
Do you tend toward impulsiveness? Could you have undiagnosed ADHD? (not saying that you do...but, I think it is a valid question, because most adults who have undiagnosed adhd are not aware of it)......

Bernadette 03-27-2018 10:50 AM

Rehearsal helps. We were, in essence, rehearsing for the rest of our lives when we were kids. As adults we get to re-write the script!

For me, becoming a parent was when I had to really confront the automatic-type responses I had ingrained and wow I did not like most of them! With help of therapist and books I wrote down a bunch of phrases that either got me launched in the right direction in a "heated"moment or at least bought me time so I didn't say things I'd regret.

I rehearsed these phrases with a cool head, when they were not needed (like driving in my car, or home alone cooking!). I had some great conversations with myself LOL. It definitely helped , not magic, but a big improvement.

"Say another few sentences about that....."
"Easy does it....."
"This is a hot topic, let me get right back to you when I've had a second to think it through..."
"I can hear that you are really angry, and if I get angry we're going nowhere! Can we cool off a minute and talk again?"
"We might just be having a communication issue, can we look at this from another angle?"
"I apologize for having such a strong reaction, let me take it down a notch...."
"I think we got off on the wrong foot with this one, let's start again..."

Stuff like that - I went over them with my therapist - I don't remember them all, you get the gist. But I DID rehearse them a lot. And I think hearing myself use them increasingly reinforced a different style of communicating (as opposed to hearing my mother's voice/words come out of my mouth UGH!). Fake it till you make it.

Therapy also helped me approach things in terms of the "meta" like getting beyond the details to the big picture. So if someone's behavior really pisses me off and I take it personally I quickly try to take a step back and see what's really at stake, what is the big issue not the nitty gritty, tit for tat, he said/she said etc. There is always a bigger picture and I (try to!) look for that instead of a "Win/Lose" in the moment.

I work in a very high pressure, fast-paced, high stakes environment with every imaginable type of personality in my co-workers. It's good to remember you don't have to like everyone, you're not taking them out to dinner, you just have to find a way to communicate with good will and an aim for the best outcome.

Peace,
B.

lizatola 03-27-2018 12:29 PM


Originally Posted by dandylion (Post 6839090)
Liz....just a couple of questions....(you have actually mentioned this in a couple of posts, previously)....
At what age do you remember this beginning....(from childhood on)....?
Do you tend toward impulsiveness? Could you have undiagnosed ADHD? (not saying that you do...but, I think it is a valid question, because most adults who have undiagnosed adhd are not aware of it)......

Hi Dandy! No iín not ADHD. I was always like this since childhood and trying to please my dad, never angering him or arguing him, etc.
My needs were never asked about as a child. I know a lot of my defensiveness comes because I feel that it would be a sin to be proven wrong about something because that would make me imperfect and I had to keep up the good girl act for my dad so that he could focus on taking care of my sister (she had leukemia while we were kids and was often ill) and he drank more and more to deal with our realities in the home.

I do better with co-workers because iím not as emotionally invested in my relationship with them as I am with my bf or family.

I really should get back into meditation. All I know is that my hormones are crazy lately and I feel like iím more angry than usual. I hate to say it, but I know iíve been childish and immature.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:59 PM.