View Full Version : Emotional. Resilience


Fuzzy12
09-14-17, 04:15 PM
I know yet another post on this... :(

Anyway I've soon got family cimg to stay with us and they are bringing all their emotional baggage with them. It affects me very negatively but I want to be able to hear them out. I think ot would make them feel better.

How do listen to them.without getting affected or stressed?

peripatetic
09-14-17, 04:25 PM
my suggestion is twofold:

1. boundaries
2. compartmentalise

with #1: hearing them out for thirty minutes is one thing...hearing them out for two hours a day for two weeks is quite another. determine how much you can hear and for how long and how frequently. maybe that's, ok, you have one uninterrupted thirty minute gripe session...then we proceed. setting healthy boundaries is something a lot of people who are trying to be helpful don't do well, and i think it takes practice. it's always easier to be more strict and then become more lenient. try to take a strict approach off the bat.

with #2, compartmentalising compliments setting healthy boundaries because you're setting this aside once you're done listening. there has to be a time and a place reserved for the emotional exchange and then times and places *without* or else it's all just emotional exchange the whole time.

i forget, fuzzy...do you have a therapist you work with? these are totally learned behaviours and i think getting some tips on how to do them from a professional would be helpful, too.

thinking of you. xx

Fuzzy12
09-14-17, 04:35 PM
Thanks peri these are great. How do I tell other people about these without them feeling offended or unheard?

Eg ny mom can go on ajd on about stuff but it's only because she's ruminating about something non stop in her head (she gets very bad anxiety) and is just expressing what she's thinking.

My dad just wants to say what he wants to say. It's a crappy situation they are dealing with, very painful, so I so want to be supportive by hearing them out but I'm trying to protect myself from becoming anxious and depressed as I always do when they are around.

No therapist.

peripatetic
09-14-17, 04:55 PM
i think that's trickier...the telling them. i've had to tell people, "hey, i really want to hear you, but i need some spaces where i'm not emotionally charged and hearing you can be intense." it's not always met with as much understanding as i feel like the other person (ironically) expects me to give.

i would say be proactive and try to suss out what's going to work for you and how often and then gently say that you really want to be there for them, but you have to think about your own little family's needs and your needs and xyz is how much you can give.

it's hard though, i get that. xx

mildadhd
09-15-17, 02:33 AM
I find it also helps me to know not all emotional-affects have a negative connotation, and that some of the emotional-affects have a positive connotation that can help promote resilience.

Everyone....-- needs a set of simple, reliable guidelines for creating good mental welfare that can be applied to any animal [or any person] in any situation, and the best guidelines we have are the core emotion systems in the brain.

The rule is..

..Don't stimulate RAGE, FEAR, and PANIC if you can help it, and do stimulate SEEKING, and also PLAY.

(Paraphrasing Temple Grandin/Catherine Johnson "Animals Make Us Human", p 23.)



M

Fuzzy12
09-15-17, 03:41 AM
I find it also helps me to know not all emotional-affects have a negative connotation, and that some of the emotional-affects have a positive connotation that can help promote resilience.





M

Are you saying that not all emotions are negative?

I'm. OK with positive emotions. I don't mind them. :D

It's the negative ones that I'm trying to learn to deal with. Anger, hurt, guilt, frustration. Especially in the context of these negative emotions arising because of other people's negativity.

sarahsweets
09-15-17, 04:09 AM
Firm boundaries with some kind of consequence for crossing them.

Fuzzy12
09-15-17, 04:40 AM
Firm boundaries with some kind of consequence for crossing them.

What kind of consequence? In the past I've walked away, got angry and annoyed and yelled.:scratch:

sarahsweets
09-16-17, 06:45 AM
What kind of consequence? In the past I've walked away, got angry and annoyed and yelled.:scratch:

Well a big giant one could be that they are no longer welcome to stay at your house and they will have to get a hotel.

Fuzzy12
09-16-17, 07:19 AM
Well a big giant one could be that they are no longer welcome to stay at your house and they will have to get a hotel.

No that's too big!!! :eek:

They are hurting too. I we'd something gentle. :)

stef
09-16-17, 10:27 AM
could you change the topic of conversation?
like before the oainful issues come up. even if its something totally boring to you.

anonymouslyadd
09-16-17, 12:45 PM
Thanks peri these are great. How do I tell other people about these without them feeling offended or unheard?

Eg ny mom can go on ajd on about stuff but it's only because she's ruminating about something non stop in her head (she gets very bad anxiety) and is just expressing what she's thinking.

My dad just wants to say what he wants to say. It's a crappy situation they are dealing with, very painful, so I so want to be supportive by hearing them out but I'm trying to protect myself from becoming anxious and depressed as I always do when they are around.

No therapist.
Maybe your dad has never really felt heard. Not that it's your role to play therapist or listener, you might be able to provide him some relief of his struggles. You may want to check out a book written on how to be a better negotiator, which shows you how to listen to people in order to show you understand them.

It probably seems strange that I'm recommending a book written by an ex-hostage negotiator for the FBI. His name is Chris Voss and the book is entitled, "Never Split the Difference." He argues that all of life is an act of negotiation, and we can experience success at work, relationships, etc. using the tips found in his book. You don't need to read it cover to cover, and I love how you can immediately apply his suggestions!

We're never taught how to listen to people in order to help them feel heard. This book may also give you something else to focus on instead of some of the other emotions your used to experiencing while around your parents.

anonymouslyadd
09-16-17, 01:06 PM
could you change the topic of conversation?
like before the oainful issues come up. even if its something totally boring to you.
I actually learned this one from my mom and have used it before. It's a good tactic. :)

ScatterBrainX
09-19-17, 02:45 AM
My parents are the same. Whenever we talk, they constantly complain about how terrible their life is (although, objectively speaking, it's not that bad). It's draining and always puts me in a bad mood. And whenever I visit them, it doesn't feel like a vacation, as I come home more exhausted than I was before.

There are several things I've been working on with my therapist, to change the way I think about the situation:

* I am not responsible for them. I can help them if I want to and have the surplus energy to do so, but it's not my duty. Don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm. To be able to help others, I need to first and foremost take care of myself.

* They are choosing this coping mechanism of lamenting about their life, to get validation and feel better that way. They won't change, because this is what feels familiar to them, what they've known their whole life. They have other options (therapy, changing what they dislike about their lives, etc.), but they are choosing this one. That's ok, they are adults who get to choose how to live their lives.

* Setting boundaries is not a bad thing. They may resist/be upset at first, but, on the long run, it's better for them if I am more predictable, and tell them e.g. "I can only talk for 10 mins every 2 weeks", instead of me procrastinating on calling them, with them worrying as to why.

* Try to see it from an outside perspective. Read about psychology, and see the kind of thought patterns they have that leads to their unhappiness, and the kind of "psychological games" they play with you to make you so uncomfortable. Reflect on how what they say makes you feel, and why. See what patterns of thought and behavior of theirs "rubbed off on you", and how you can overcome it. In general, just naming and noting helps detach a bit, and see things more objectively.

sarahsweets
09-24-17, 08:55 AM
Fuzzy I re-read my response to you and wanted to say I was sorry, because it was so extreme and harsh. Now that I am dealing with what I am currently I can see how hard it would be from a parents' point of view to just turn off those feelings and as a daughter how hard it would be to turn my back on family and say they are not welcome. The exception would be if I felt they were actually damaging myself or my family by being there.