Yesterday I had an incident at work, when my colleague, actually the guy who wanted to date me, made an ugly comment about my body, in front of few other workmates.
Despite the level of my consciousness, daily progress on mastering emotions, and “all knowing-ness” that attack is a way of defense – his comment knocked me down to my knees. At first, I was hurt by the remark itself, then by my own reaction to it. All I managed to say after his unexpected attack was “I will not comment on it”. And then I blamed myself for not being strong enough to send him to hell.
The guy apologized after, but it made things even worse. He didn’t say “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, you are actually stunningly beautiful, and we both know it”. No. Instead, he said: “Im sorry. It is not nice from me to say such things” …..
Despite I really think of myself as pretty, I could not cope with his comment and with what has followed after. My day was doomed to suck.
But I already know myself enough not to leave this event unattended. I know what would have happened otherwise. It would stay there rotting and eating me from inside. Eventually, I would have managed to bury it under layers of ignorance and pretend it did not happen. But it would come out later as ugly attack from me on someone else, perhaps on someone close. It would cause unnoticed damage to my self-esteem and self-worth, and consequently, it would attract more of such people into my experience. More indicators of lowered vibration.
So I decided to do what always helps me – get vulnerable and share my feelings with someone supportive.
Psychologist Brene Brown in her book “The gifts of imperfection” explains that shame, and any other negative feeling, is scared of being exposed:
As a shame researcher, I know that the very best thing to do in the midst of a shame attack is totally counterintuitive: Practice courage and reach out!
If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive
She also emphasizes the importance of reaching out to correct people.
Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: “Who has earned the right to hear my story?” If we have one or two people in our lives who can sit with us and hold space for our shame stories, and love us for our strengths and struggles, we are incredibly lucky. If we have a friend, or small group of friends, or family who embraces our imperfections, vulnerabilities, and power, and fills us with a sense of belonging, we are incredibly lucky.
I am lucky to have a whole bunch of amazing supportive women in FB group – I took career coaching course, and this community consists of participants of this course. It is a very safe place to share my feelings and get valuable, supportive advice.
Girls told me the things which I wanted to hear from that guy: “But we all know that you are beautiful, Yuliya! We love you!”. And: “And how does he look? Is someone criticizing him?”. And: “You reacted wise by not spreading more hatred into the world”. And even made fun of it: “I wouldn’t agree w/ that though because I fully LOVE my body! Smile then leave hehe I prolly would have swayed my butt side to side too! lol 🤣 when I encounter negative people, I take a breath & automatically choose my first positive thought/affirmation: “Not my circus, not my monkeys. That’s all about u, not me.”
I felt enormous relief.
In such moments the last thing you want to hear is “Why you didn’t send him to hell? Oh, if I were you, I would have told him who he is!”. Or who would simply dismiss the importance of the event with: “Cmon, it’s not the end of the world, get over yourself”
You already feel not enough, adding criticism of your response or of your feelings about it – is going to make you feel like a total failure.
Reach out to someone who you know can relate and support. Who will not try to feel better about himself by criticizing how poorly you managed this situation.
Luckily for us, bloggers, we have one more way of processing negative emotions – through writing. We have a possibility to express it safely in our blogs, and every like or comment lets us know that we are understood. Someone else has been there and can relate.