Often when people matter most to us, we can be our own worst advocate.
With someone we hardly know we can be super zen and calm in a tricky situation, but with someone we care about, trouble can brew quickly.
Our primal brain (amygdala) has more of a sense of threat, more quickly, if things start not to go well with people with whom our wellbeing is inter-dependent.
It makes sense of course..and sadly, often it means we want to take control in unhelpful ways...even reverting to less "adult" ways of handling disagreement because it's the best our primal brain can do under duress.
We may start giving orders like a drill sergeant or our voice may shake or go silent in shame to avoid rage...what happens for you? Our strategies may remind us of early-life conflicts that sit in our memories unresolved...it's why our patterns can persist for many decades and show up in unhelpful ways when we least want them to.
With all the stress in our modern lives it's so important to be able to calm our brains. Some people enjoy having a compassionate advisor as a guide for times when the primal brain is engaged...which can mean having a safe place to unleash words of anger and regain a calm brain and nervous system before attempting to share the words that will either stir the pot or calm the farm.
Self-advocacy is more than our words, it's understanding that our brain and our histories are ours to take care of as best we can.
The truth is a great majority of us have trauma and ways of reacting under duress that don't work and we need tenderness for ourselves for that.
Rather than blame ourselves (or our family history) or the ones that matter to us now, the quickest road to better outcomes is calming ourselves honestly (not just pretending to be calm) and finding support to find genuine words that will contribute towards the outcomes and quality of relationships we'd really prefer.
Message me if you like the idea of having a compassionate advisor on tap.
Do you recognise yourself in this post? What are your best strategies to calm yourself?