Last week I shared a question from a reader about how to handle the upset feelings that come with finding out that after your parent turned down an offer from you…they turned around and asked your sibling for the very thing you had offered!
I wrote last week about why that can be such a huge trigger, and what’s required of you in general terms in order to let the upset go. Today I’m providing you with a step-by-step process that you can use when you’re just too upset to shake it off!
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Even if all you can do is stop and breathe after your initial painful reaction, you will be better able to process the next steps, and move forward in your relationships in a more positive and meaningful way. You will now be in a position to choose the actions in each situation that move you toward feeling peaceful and loved no matter what your father and sister do.
Try these 5 Steps to Recover from a Perceived Rejection:
- Stop, Breathe, and Focus… what is your desired outcome? What is it you really want…to be seen as helpful, validating your role in the family, to visit with your mother and family at the hospital, to be seen as a valuable asset to your mother’s and father’s care? Be honest with yourself, without judgments.
- Make No Assumptions. Allow yourself to be curious, not confrontational. Imagine what positive spin you could put on their words and actions, instead of assuming the worst. Then realize that you can “live in” that belief, no matter what their “truth” may be!
- Remember: Nothing is personal. Whatever reasons your father has for asking your sister and not you, they have to do with himself and not you. It’s about his beliefs, feelings and needs (and they may well be based on his own wrong assumptions, misperceptions, etc.!). It’s extremely helpful if you can call upon your compassion for him, and not take his decision – whatever it may be – as a personal affront or rejection aimed at you.
- Communicate! Keeping silent rarely helps, so come up with a way to let them know how you feel. Use “I” statements: “I feel, I need, I want…” that way consistently with your father and sister. When you hear the old messages running in your head, go back to step #1, and start the process again.
- Focus on your desired outcomes, and speak honestly and compassionately with your father and sister about being allies in your mother’s care and needs.
The key is that letting go of old beliefs, and changing how we choose to view each situation, makes it possible for us to move forward in our lives with greater empowerment and fulfillment.
And in my experience, in the absence of support, habits ALWAYS win. So don’t struggle by yourself if over time you find that nothing is getting better. None of us gets points for being a silent sufferer in this lifetime! Create a support system for yourself.
Thank you to the reader for sharing this concern and dilemma. I have no doubt that many other readers will relate to this situation, and will benefit from knowing there are options for responding more powerfully and peacefully even in such distressing circumstances.
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In my experience, in the absence of support, habits ALWAYS win. So don’t struggle by yourself if over time you find that nothing is getting better. None of us gets points for being a silent sufferer in this lifetime! Create a support system for yourself.
Keep in mind that you can get additional strategies, support, and guidance in my Take Back Your Life: The Art of Self-Care group program. Call me at (201) 489-6720 to take the first step into the life you deserve!