Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Intuition - honor it!

There's a gut reaction we have to people and how they treat us - call it intuition.

If we have such a strong sense about the other person we call them on it - they have two choices: they can take a look at themselves and decide whether what we see has any merit - or if it does not.

Usually it takes a degree of suffering or pain to actually take the step to say something.

Say, telling someone, "I don't feel heard" by you.

In other words, "I don't feel that you actually hear what I am saying. Worse, that you don't care enough to try to understand what I am feeling or respond to what I'm saying or asking.

"Most importantly, the way you make me feel when you ignore what I say to you is painful. I'm hurt because I feel I'm not important enough to you for you to even respond to. I feel like I don't even really exist. I feel literally dehumanized."

Interestingly, I know a guy who was told this by his girlfriend, who broke up with him. His response was to pursue the relationship even harder!

In short: his response to hurting her by not listening to her in the past? Is to NOT LISTEN TO HER EVEN MORE! Only on a grander scale.

He thinks he's now showing her that he really cares about her! In reality, he's only putting the icing on her desire to stay broken up because he's not listening to what she wants.

To show you can listen to the person who feels unheard: give her what she wants. Good-bye. Then clean up your empathy/compassion/listening and responding act and come back later if, in fact you actually do love the other person and are capable of showing it.

I also know someone who was told his behavior felt untrustworthy.

His response? To do things that proved, over and over again, that he was, indeed untrustworthy.

Instead of taking responsibility for his (untrustworthy) actions and figuring out how he could heal himself and change the situation, he denied he was untrustworthy, projected his negative feelings onto others, and then made nasty accusations that had no merit.

In short, every word out of his mouth - everything he did to defend his "trustworthyness"? Proved him to be genuinely untrustworthy and on far more levels than were originally identified.

Being defensive and offensive, avoiding taking a truthful look at his behavior and obfuscating responsibility for his behavior, he dug in and attacked the person who just told him how she felt.

Result: BOOM! Bad breakup and a clear understanding that the guy really isn't trustworthy.

He could have attempted to gain clarity and understanding of why she feels she can't trust him, especially if he believes he is misunderstood - and is actually trustworthy - or there has been a misunderstanding of what he's done that feels untrustworthy.

The point is:

If our intuition/gut tells us someone is treating us in a way that is hurtful, actually telling the person how you feel will result in a positive result - even if that positive result is the end of a hurtful relationship.

Why go on suffering when just telling the truth your intuition is telling you about how you feel should resolve a resolvable situation.

If you're hurt by someone's behavior and that behavior is named, and the person willingly negotiates to deal with you in a way that will result in stopping the hurt and moving on to a more caring, positive relationship?

That is terrific! You both can grow - individually and together.

If, however, you're hurt by someone's behavior, the behavior is named, and the person only reacts negatively, attacking you, failing to take any responsibility for his/her behavior or even consider dealing with what could possibly be a misunderstanding?

You can now free yourself from being the target of that person's hurtful behavior, and even feel good about taking good care of yourself and protecting yourself from further hurt by him or her.

More, you can be at complete peace, knowing that you saw things clearly, that you are free from the threat of bearing the brunt of any more pain from that individual - and even forgive the person - completely - as you move on because you're also now free to be happy - in relationships that are pain-free.

We can even wish the hurtful person well, hoping they heal and find peace, happiness and healthy relationships for themself.

Intuition, gut feeling, whatever you want to call it? Honor it. Act on it. It's only trying to protect you.

Now imagine the intuition-feeler is your protagonist.

And the dweeb who only proves his untrustworthy behavior is your antagonist in one script and the lamer who doesn't listen the antagonist in your other script!

Again, great characters to write about - like the Seinfeld characters - not folks you'd want to hang out with.


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