Feeling pressure to make the most of these strange times?

Ambitions to introduce something new and exciting to your lockdown routine? Finding ‘lockdown lethargy’ competing for that space instead?

Having good days and bad days, yet never really know what day it actually is?

Niggled by social media memes demanding you emerge as a newly skilled-up phoenix?

Feeling overwhelmed by the whole situation, yet hesitant to rush back into a new normal too soon?

You aren’t alone.

These are strange times indeed and everyone is coping (or not) in their own way.

We’re tired, restless, virtually connected, and physically isolated. We may not be missing the commute but are missing so many other things we took for granted.

We have strange intense dreams, yet real life seems to merge into one long day that was apparently a week. We’re eating and drinking more than we like to think about. We’re not ourselves. We can’t be. We’re all going through something and we need to respect our individual ways of processing that.

It’s different for everyone.

Motivational posts during lockdown

Now, I love a good motivational quote or meme and there is a time and place for them but there are a few doing the rounds right now that, rather than being motivating, for some, risk creating more pressure and stress.

For example, whoever created the “If you don’t come out of this time with a new skill … you didn’t lack time, you lacked disapline” meme, probably wasn’t home-schooling, whilst trying to keep their business alive from their lounge, and shopping for their elderly neighbours.

Even if someone is in a secure situation and suddenly has all the time in the world, there is an emotional toll to this situation that drains energy in a way that we’ve not quite experienced before on this scale. Mass uncertainty on a global scale can provoke a new flavour of anxiety and everyone is processing it differently.

What might be a fabulously motivating ‘kick up the butt’ for one person, could feel like a world of extra pressure and judgment to another.

If you are in the latter group, this post is especially for you.

Take a breath

Obviously, this is not business as usual. Allow your new emerging needs to be met with gentleness and care. This is stressfull enough without adding on pressure to emerge with a new skill, your novel written, having lost a stone, or levitating! 

Some people will do well just to get through this time with their health and business intact. The last thing anyone needs is extra feelings of pressure or judgement. You won’t be surprised to hear how easily perceived pressure from an ill-timed post can trigger someone that is already feeling vulnerable, into greater levels of anxiety.

If you notice this happening to you, reach out for some mental/emotional support from a loved one or a professional. Try limiting your exposure to triggering content and distract yourself with things you find nurturing and supportive.

There will also be some free audio-visual resources for help with this coming soon.

Re-assess & Simplify

Another thing that can help is to make this an opportunity to stop, re-consider, and to simplify our life. In fact it might be the only way to successfully get through this new reality without dropping the important balls.

It can be useful to remeber that there are two main motivations behind everything we do:

1) to move towards feeling good or

2) to move away from feeling bad

We can re-assess the way our life was and see if it was really working for us.  Which people and activities were helpful and healthy and which were part of our lives out of habit but that no longer serve us.

Start with how you want to FEEL and assess the elements of your life that move you towards that feeling in a healthy and sustainable way. Likewise, review the things that don’t. What would balance and simplification look and feel like for you now.

This time can act as a reset

Without the distraction of a full social (and in some cases, business) calendar, we have an opportunity to tune in with our real needs and emerge out of this with a clearer sense of what we really want and need, going forward.

And if you are run off your feet with having multiple full time jobs at home now (Teacher/ Childminder/ Employee/ Etc.) taking a step back to simplify and prioritise might be prove to be the most effective way through this.

Now is not a time for perfectionism. It’s time for prioritisation. Whatever works for you and your family is all that’s necessary in this moment. Release judgement, everyone else is busy ‘just coping’ too. Find your own rhythm.

Real Needs?

It’s certainly looking a lot like we all need fresh air, exercise, sunshine (VitD), good company, nourishing food, loo roll and a robust global health care system, more than we ever needed that latest fashion item or celebrity branded whatsit.

(I should probably also add a strong internet connection and Netflix to that list too!).

Just as what we really need to survive comes into clearer focus, so do the roles in society that provide those needs. We have an opportunity to respect our real needs on an individual, national and global scale.

External expectations

With that in mind, it’s a good time to do yourself the kindness of releasing the stress that comes with the exaggerated perception of external expectations. Tune into what YOU really want and need and gently start releasing any outdated expectations in a way that is safe and approprite for you now.

Are you still trying to prove something to a ghost from your past that’s long gone, a family member, the snooty schoolgate mum, or just your old self? Let it go. It’s a great time to put it to rest and reset.

It’s possible to be ‘new’ by letting go of what no longer serves you, rather than picking up something new to take wth you.

Supportive Practices

To help with the above, maintain a sense of wellbeing and reduce stress during this time, I recommend the three following practices that you can do from home, by yourself, anytime, for free: 1) exercise, 2) meditation, 3) EFT.

This combination is a great maintence protocol in or out of lockdown.

I’m sure many of you do these already but if you don’t I’d encourage you to experiment with them as supportive measures and see how you get on. Even for short periods of time it is well documented that they can make a huge difference to our wellbeing. It doesn’t need to be an ‘all or nothing’ scenario, just something you gently introduce and experiment with.

‘Exercise Snacks’:

Try gentle ‘exercise snacks’. 5 to 10 mins of gentle stretching, a bit of cardio like a walk, or try squats or standing push ups against a wall while the kettle boils, walk around with your phone call instead of sitting. It’s easy to fit a little in here and there if you try. It all adds up and doesn’t need to be a slog.

Short meditation and visualisation:

Try starting with 5 to 10 mins breathing and relaxing, going inward to find your own piece of calm. Then focus on the feeling of a happy moment or memory, name the feeling, give it a colour, let that colour and happy or peaceful feeling infuse all through your body and then out into the world. Whenever you need a quick pick me up or to center yourself, repeat.

EFT:

Gentle tapping on the EFT points when you are feeling stressed, naming your concerns aloud, acknowledging them and tapping through them until they start to dissipate. Reframing when and where appropriate. Great for shifting undesired trapped feelings. If you want to go deeper into emotion release or would rather work with someone on this, get in touch.

A little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing and right now self-care is so important.

Finding what works for you during this time and supporting yourself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, not only better supports your immune system but creates a strong foundation for whatever comes next.

And if you do want to and have the time to start a new project, exercise regime, creative project, or business – that’s great too, just make sure it’s coming from a place of internal desire and joy rather than external pressure and expectation.

This too shall pass.

Summary:

  • Don’t put pressure on yourself right now if you are struggling. Getting through is good enough. There will be better days.
  • Reach out if you need help.
  • Tune into your needs and take great care of yourself. What you need now may have changed.
  • Simplify where you can.
  • Prioritise things that feel good and support your wellbeing rather than trying to do ‘all the things’.
  • If you need a break from social media or the news, or anything else – give that to yourself.
  • Try experimenting with gentle meditation, EFT or exercise to help support you through this time and going forward. They are free accessible tools that can help. Explore others that you’re drawn to.
  • If you’d like to know more about any of these tools or to work with a licensed professional, feel free to get in touch.
  • This too shall pass.

#selfcare #therapist #EFTpractitioner #coach #lifecoach #holisticlifecoach #lockdown #covid-19 #exercise #meditation #EFT #begentlewithyourself #simplify #respectyourprocess #healing #energy #spring2020 #2020 #feelingpressure #reset #wellbeing

Forgiveness – What it is and what it isn’t:

Many people, myself included at one time, have thought forgiveness to equal letting someone off the hook, saying it (whatever needed forgiving) was Okay. Sometimes that just isn’t possible or desirable. Sometimes things seem unforgivable or the other person doesn’t even want or care for our forgiveness – what then? We are told we should be forgiving but why? Especially if they don’t ‘deserve it’ in our eyes or don’t even seek it? However, the important thing I have learnt about forgiveness, both in my life and through my work with many clients, is that forgiveness is actually rarely for or about the other person. It’s ultimately for you and it can be truly liberating and transformative.

Forgiveness ISN’T:

  • Letting someone off the hook or condoning their behaviour
  • Implying what they did was OK
  • Saying that what they did didn’t hurt you or matter a great deal
  • Minimizing the impact of their actions or the consequences
  • Saying it through gritted and not meaning it
  • Half-hearted
  • Naivety or allowing the same situation to arise
  • Weakness
  • For them

Forgiveness IS:

  • Releasing yourself from the burden of physical/mental/emotional energy that was created by the other person/ incident.
  • Relieving your nervous system from the energy drain required to hold on to anger, resentment and unforgiveness.
  • Relieving your mind from replaying the thoughts of what you could have/ should have said.
  • Acknowledging that any behaviour that hurts another person is often caused by a level of unconsciousness, wounding, disadvantage, ignorance or lack of development.
  • Releasing the energetic-emotional cords between yourself and the person or incident.
  • Considering and trying to find the eventual benefits of the incident. (E.g. increased wisdom, discovering boundaries and self respect, beginning a mission of self-healing, transformation, new people that entered your life, increased compassion or purpose etc. Often the things that hurt us create a seeking for healing or understanding and this can transform us for the better if we let it).
  • Considering the role we played in it and what we can learn or change going forward.
  • Self-forgiveness.
  • Healing at the deepest levels.
  • For your own wellbeing.

The Stress of ‘Un-Forgiveness’

We all know stress causes illness. Emotions such as anger, resentment and unforgiveness create a stress in the body and the nervous system and are very draining to hold on to. They can keep you highly triggerable and stuck in fight or flight, sometimes for years.

In my work with clients it is often when they can get to the place of sincere forgiveness that the biggest shifts take place, physically, mentally and emotionally.  Even forgiving the unforgivable is possible and the effect of the release of tension and trauma that had been carried for years can be truly transformative. Like a weight released.

Self- Forgiveness

Forgiving the self can also be a big part of the work too. Looking at where you have been less than good to yourself, or have contributed to any of your own or others suffering can be enlightening albeit a little uncomfortable at first.

Shinning a light on these areas, owning them and forgiving them helps release self-devaluing shame and blame that is so often just under the anger we use to protect ourselves.

We are ALL works in progress and the more we can forgive ourselves and others for our inevitable failings, the quicker we can heal and move into the high frequencies of compassion, wellness and abundance. It changes our perceptions, relationships, point of attraction and therefore our life experience.

Forgiveness can be a big piece of work or it can happen in an instance.

Anger, resentment or any unforgiveness that you feel only harms you, forgiveness is the antidote and the key to our deepest healing. This is true for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Tools such as EFT Matrix Reimprinting, Hypnosis, NLP, ACE, Coaching, journalling and Meditation among others can all help you achieve insights that lead to the ability to forgive and relase yourself from unhelpful emotions.

If you would like support in any of these areas feel free to reach out.

Wishing you a wise and open heart.

Image of a Lemon

Envy, it tends not to bring the best out in people. It’s uncomfortable and if left unexplored can result in feelings of bitterness and resentment. However, as we mature emotionally we realise that the old ‘green-eyed monster’ can actually be a great friend, shining a light on the dreams you dare not dream and holding you accountable to them.

What is it really?

Envy is often our own unacknowledged potential, projected onto someone else.

It is the feeling we get when we covert or desire something someone else has or enjoys. In its mildest form it is a longing that bares no ill will to the person who has or does the thing you are coverting. It might create longing that spurs on positive action but can also cause self doubt or dissatisfaction. Advertising agencies, for example, rely on being able to inspire this in us on a daily basis, so that we feel dissatisfied or self-doubting and attempt to purchase our way out of those feelings.

In stronger forms it can produce grudges, ill will, undesirable, and in some cases even criminal, behaviour.

Envy Vs Jealousy

Envy is different from Jealousy, although the two are often used interchangeably. Jealousy is the emotion related to the fear of being replaced by someone or something. For example, being jealous that your best friend seems to have a new favourite aquaintant, or your boss is showing preference to another employee. Sibling rivalries have their roots in jealousy. If we imagine an emotional scale, we can think of jealousy being closer to fear and envy being closer to desire.

Both very useful to explore but the focus of this article is specifically envy. The kind that if left unexplored, might lower our emotional vibration and have an impact on our well being, thoughts or behaviour. It is also the type of envy that, if we’re paying attention, can lead us to our hidden potential and and subconscious goals.

When it shows up

We are usually envious of things that we would like to have or enjoy but don’t or think we can’t.

For it to be triggering some energy in us, it is usually an indication that there is some desire there. Our desires to experience something that we haven’t already, is where the motivation for growth and expansion lives. We are here to grow and expand. This is a good thing.

Now because many people will do more to move away from pain than they will to move towards pleasure, jealousy is our fail-safe. If we aren’t pursuing or achieving our goals through excited, self-motivational states, then jealousy will step in and poke us in the guts to help us along.

How to befriend it

The key to making it your friend is, as with many things, the way you talk about it to yourself in your own head.

Rather than coming up with excuses or bitterments (new word that describes the bitter mutterings under your breath about people that inspire the icky ‘well-jel’ feels) – get excited. Explore what it is that has you so activated, what are you really envious about?

Say you see someone performing, looking fabulous, confident, having the time of his or her life and you start to feel the icky stings of envy forming in your belly. Check in. Is it that you’d like to perform? Is it their confidence or just the fun they are having or something else? What specifically is it that you want more of in your own life, that is being shown to you right now?

Say it’s a business or brand you are comparing yourself to – what is it that you can borrow about that style, brand, or feel? Perhaps they just look more professional and it makes you feel ‘less’. Great! This is a call to skill up and up your game. It’s an area to grow and be better.

Whoever is stirring the feelings in you, it’s worth checking in with yourself honestly to see if there is something about your unclaimed potential or unrealised goals, that they are unwittingly representing to you?

Call it what it is and it shall disappear!

Once you’ve identified what it is that is triggering you. One possible way of dealing with it is owning up to it. Many negative emotions lose a bit of power when we get really honest and own them. Shame will amplfiy a negative emotion tenfold and keeping it a secret or not even admitting it to ourselves drives them underground to add to the pile of supressed emotions that jangle about our insides like loose change. However, if you can name it, own it and take positive action towards it (without shame, pride or ego getting in the way), you are well on the way to making it your friend and secret power.

Using EFT Tapping whilst naming and describing your undesired feelings is a great way to own them and take the power out of them.

Another is to tell someone else, especially if it can be the person who is the subject of the envy!

Going straight to the source

I remember being particluarly envious of something a friend in college appeared to be effortlessly good at. After stewing for a while feeling ‘less than’, irritated at my own ineptness, I decided to own it and ‘called it out’ by telling her about it. This did three unexpected things:

  1. As the words left my mouth they seemed to transform from a personal critisim of myself into an admiring compliment of her. She was surprised and flattered, it made her feel good, which made me feel good too.
  2. She let me in on her ‘secret’ and told me how I might achieve the same results as she had. I was thrilled! And suddenly the thing I envied was, with a bit of practice and upskilling, within my reach.
  3. She addmitted something she had envied of me. I was, likewise, surprised and flattered. We often undervalue the things that come easily to us. I of course happily shared my tips and we both felt closer as a result of our mutual vulnerability with eachother and empowered with new information.

This taught me a valuable lesson and started me off on my journey of seeing envy as the opportunity and learning experince that it is.

How envy can show us where we are out of balance

Sometimes it isn’t immediately obvious that an emotion has its roots in envy. It might just feel like we are irritated by someone. This is because what we deny in ourselves, we do not tolerate in others.  And here is where it can also help show us where we are out of balance.

Perhaps the other person that is triggering you is super confident, loud and blows their own trumpet all the time and you, in contrast, are quite the opposite about your own achievements and capabilities.

Maybe they are quiet and self-contained, where as you feel you always need to be asserting yourself to be recognized and respected.

Maybe they are particluarly needy and people are always having to help them out. Where as you might never ask for help or share your struggles at all.

When we dig into our feelings and explore what is triggering disgruntlement or various shades of envy; we can start to illuminate the beliefs and self-limitations we hold that may be out of balance for us.

If that person represents one extreme and you are the other, is there an action or adjustment you can make that would make you feel more empowered and balanced about this? What can you ‘borrow’ about their style (in more subtle and moderate ways) that might serve you better than your current approach?

Someone can be the opposite of us and still not trigger negative emotional energy. It is only when they represent something that is not in balance, in a way that doesn’t serve us, do we get envy showing up and kicking our butt (like the good friend it is).

Being able to recognise and befriend it (in all its guises) also tends to make people kinder. This is because those that are bitter and don’t lean into their unexplored potential are more likely to try and bring others down to make themselves feel better.  All they know is that ‘something’ has inspired discomfort in them and they want to squash it any way they can. Trolls and bullies are a good example of this. However, when you see it as the ‘message from your potential’ that it is, it inspires a completely different response.

It will usually be an area of true potential or an area of ‘self-work’ for you or it would not be triggering energy. It just requires some kind of step up and action.

Exceptions

An exception to this might be if the object of your envy is triggering a wound, such as loss. This requires a slightly different approach. However, wounds too can be transformed and the sting of loss can be processed and healed over time. The love that you are missing can find its way back into your life in many different ways when you are ready to let it do so. If it hurts, there is work to do and there is a new you waiting on the other side of that work. Nothing is too big or deep that it can’t be transformed with the right support.

Turning envy into rocket fuel

Whether it is loss, limiting beliefs, self-doubt or a host of other states that lie underneath envy, it is an opportunity for growth and you are presented with a choice – the discomfort of envy or the discomfort of growth. The latter transforms the former.

It takes some emotional self awareness and being prepared to sit with the feeling whilst exploring it. But when you master this and make envy your friend, you can transcend and transform these lower emotions into rocket fuel for your own potential.

You don’t need to be bitter, just be better!

Kindness Not Judgement

As I write this, we are all reeling from the news of another the tragic death of a celebrity that had been hounded by the media, social media and trolls. This time it is was the vivacious Caroline Flack. My heart is heavy.

Statistically it would seem that appearing on Love Island or any other reality TV show for that matter is more likely to contribute to an early death than terrorism and several known carcinogens combined.

It is of course, not so much the show itself but what happens around it and afterwards. Terry Pratchett put it best:

“Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show.”

― Terry Pratchett

There are always contributing factors, life events, pre-dispositions, lifestyle, support network and other influences. But there is an obvious and undeniable relationship between public humiliations and cruel shaming via the media (social, press and otherwise) and these tragic events. We know this. We have seen it too often. The question is why and how this is allowed to continue and what part do we all play in it?

The price they pay for fame?

People often say of people in the public eye, “well, they knew what they were getting into, they chose that life”. But I don’t believe people can ever fully imagine or prepare for the level of hate and maligning we see via the media today. Knowing that you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and expecting your fair share of bad reviews is one thing. Death threats and character assassinations are quite another.

There is often little resilience-training or emotional preparation for such visibility.  How do you prepare for being the Nation’s darling one moment then vilified the next, with your career and reputation in tatters. A one-off misjudged tweet is enough to bring about such consequences; so fragile is the public’s whim and companies’ fear of subsequent backlash. Let alone being accused of something more nefarious.

These people are not super human, immune, or especially resilient to abuse. In some cases, if their main motivations are driven by external approval, they may possibly be even less resilient than most.

Those in the public eye are usually people that, like every one else, are just trying to do their best to get their needs met, earn a living using their skills and talents, be ‘successful’ (whatever that means for them), and pursue what they think will make them happy (rightly or wrongly). They are just doing it in a public forum where the risks and rewards are potentially both higher.

Celebrity and influencer culture is so heavily glamourised, celebrated and rewarded. But once someone appears to have ‘made it’ in the eyes of the public, its as if they lose all their rights to due care and respect. They get turned into the nation’s punching bag and a place to deflect and project all our own shortcomings and inner ‘boo boos’.

We apparently love an underdog but can’t stand anyone that’s a bit cocky and seems to be doing well for themselves, especially if they seem a bit smug about it. How very dare they ‘love themselves’, we’ll show them! It speaks volumes about the psyche of the British public. Our celebs must be humble, self depreciating and deeply flawed, like us. If not, we will not hesitate or hold back in bringing them down a peg or three.

The press does it because the public buys it.

The public buys it because there is a lot of people out there whose emotions feel like a box of frogs that have been on a long journey across a dirt road in the front basket of a pushbike, with no suspension, on a hot day: Not happy.

If a person struggles to make themselves feel happy or significant, has self-worth issues or feelings like envy, bitterness and disappointment, then a cheap, anonymous, shot at a celebrity that appears to have it all, may create fleeting feelings of relief and empowerment. This may be especially true if their chances of feeling those things through other means are limited. This does not make it ok.

Not just the famous

However, you don’t have to be a celebrity to suffer in this way. The tragedies that play out in the public eye are a more visible version of what is happening in many schools and phone screens around the world. It’s bullying, shaming and isolation. It is emotional cruelty, whatever medium it is happening across and no matter how big the audience.  It usually stems from some form of jealousy or inadequacy.

It is the darker side of humanity, with the lights on, ‘memed’ for our entertainment.

The traditional media know it and exploit it and we have let them do so for too long.

What can we do about it?

As with many problems we encounter, the first place it is worth checking is with ourselves, to dig deep and explore honestly what role we play in allowing or participating in this.

Vote with you eyeballs, clicks and coins

The papers only sell hate because people buy it. The media only spread hateful stories because people click on them. Most of them are not the unbiased bringers of newsworthy events that they’d have you believe. They are businesses that make money out of your attention. If you stop giving them, or those kinds of stories, your attention, it will no longer be viable to continue in the manner in which they have been conducting themselves.  

But can you help yourself from clicking on that headline? Can you bear not to know what she/he has done now? Whether you agree with the story or not, it already has your click. And perhaps you share it, with a ragingly disapproving review, but you have spread it to more eyeballs, clicks and ad revenue.

By boycotting papers and sites that spread hate, both as consumers and advertisers, we can vote with our money, clicks and attention – or lack there of. When we work collectively we are more powerful than they’d like us to believe.

But let’s get deeper.

The darker side of humanity has it’s potential in all of us; we are human and fallible. It can be triggered or awoken in us by different things according to our wounds and emotional maturity.

On an individual level, maturing as a fully functioning human being involves learning how to move out of the less desirable immature states of unbridled displays of emotion (anger/ neediness/ jealousy/ selfishness/ lack of appreciation of consequences etc.), to emotional maturity  (self-regulation/ an appreciation of consequence/ empathy/ personal responsibility/ respect for others, etc.).

Part of maintaining a civilized society is about how it facilitates, encourages and supports this essential maturing in its people through education, families, societal structures, cultural messages, what’s accepted, rewarded and celebrated. Alongside how we manage the people that do not, cannot or will not display the level of development or consideration required for them to be a part of that society in a positive or healthy way (laws, consequences, rights, legal protection etc.).

This is not Utopia

Now, we do not live in a harmonious or perfect world full of perfect people. Some discord is inevitable and in most cases even desirable. We don’t want a dictatorship of full compliant robots, we are human, messy and emotional and we need space and freedom to be that and to grow from it. Freedom of speech, expression and personal liberties are essential for a healthy evolving society that works for all of the people that are part of it.

However, you have to start to wonder if we aren’t a ‘little’ out of balance when people are dying as a consequence of not getting this line right. It’s time we collectively and individually have a good hard look at ourselves and all grow up and out of this together.

Both the traditional and social media seem to be stuck in the mindset of an angry petulant teenager trying to bring everyone down to make themselves feel better. (Not all teens are like this of course but you get the reference). Are they (the papers) creatures of our own making or are we creatures of theirs? That is a potentially depressing line of enquiry.

Either way it’s time to ‘take the power back’ as they would say and stop letting ourselves be manipulated and influenced by the ferociously unkind, vile and vindictive distortions that they spout. They have got away with insulting our intelligence and lowering moral standards for too long. 

Yes, there is a lot more that could be positively influenced via education and laws and we should absolutely call for this. But the real change comes when we as a people take responsibility for our cultural, emotional development, and change because we have collectively grown and matured, not just because a law has been passed.

So how do we all grow out of this together?

Firstly we need to recognise the drivers of this behaviour and bring some awareness into the mix.

Nice, happy, well-adjusted people don’t spread hate or troll. They might not like someone or agree with them but they aren’t generally filled with the vitriol it takes to post or spread hate online.

It has been said that people (or at least a part of them) are generally stuck at the emotional maturity of the age of their deepest wound. It can stunt our emotional growth because, unresolved, it leaves us with active triggers as the subconscious tries to protect us from re-experiencing the trauma again in real life.

It does this by warning us of perceived threats and leaves us with a distorted frame of the world that is always on the lookout for similar or related aspects. Those aspects will appear exaggerated to us and when spotted, will trigger strong emotions that demand some kind of action or relief.

We will most likely have created a belief about ourselves, others or the world at the same time as a reference. Without context or knowing the full picture as a child, this belief may or may not be helpful as we move into adulthood. Our brain’s priority is our survival, not fact checking or even our happiness.

The ‘trauma’ can be big or small. Even feeling unloved or unworthy can be traumatic to a child and affect the way they go on to interact with the world as a result.

It is most possible, even likely, that the people that are so hateful online and elsewhere are in some state of emotional pain and distortion, even if it is subconscious. It does not excuse it but to have any hope of changing it we need to at least try to understand it.

The cauldron of hate

Now, make no mistake, we all have pain and distortions but we don’t all participate in such hateful behaviour towards others. Being in pain does not absolve you from causing pain in others. But it can be helpful in understanding what triggers those actions and shed some light on what drives people to do and say things that, to many of us, seem hard to fathom.

The combination of ingredients necessary for personal triggers to spill out into the hate we see, may be a combination of some of the following:

  • Their particular distortions/pain:

Low self worth, jealousy, regret, guilt, loneliness, isolation, feeling powerless, sadness, anger, health, pain, boredom, desire for significance, limitations or restrictions etc.

  • Emotional Maturity:

Their emotional resourcefulness/ maturity and ability to self manage when triggered. Which can be influenced by their upbringing, unresolved active traumas or wounds, level of consciousness and self awareness, mental capacity, education, general well being, health and state of mind.

  • Resources:

The options and resources available to that person to get relief from that discomfort or pain and get their needs met, feel better, significant, release anger and heal in any meaningful way.

  • The culture of acceptability:

Safety or anonymity around that behaviour (can I get away with this without personal consequence).

  • Community and benefits – approval, connection and positive consequences of the action. (Are my peers going to think this is funny and share/like. Am I going to get points/ respect/ influence for this etc.).

There will be more but it’s a place to start.

Now – I am not suggesting that we all just feel sorry for or get all fluffy about people who get their kicks or distorted needs met through hurting other people online. But when we start to recoginse what might be going on with them it might 1) take a bit of the power out of it, and 2) highlight areas of concern that should not be overlooked when we are talking about solutions to this problem.

The fact that the perpetrators span all medias and all demographics means that an effective response needs to be both deep and wide. Practical, legal, cultural and educational.

The misery of trolling is spread with the same severity of consequence by national newspapers as it is in the classroom WhatsApp group. By every age and social position.  The frequencies of our lowest emotional states will seek expression and relief in whatever way they can. We need to consciously choose to be of a higher vibration.

Looking towards solutions – Questions to ask and topics to explore.

For the first three:

  • Individual distortion or pain/ Emotional Maturity/ Resources

How do we become a society were more people have the internal resources to meet their needs in constructive ways. Some people don’t even have the language for how they feel let alone know what to do about it. How do we support growth, intelligence, and development in this area, create a shared language, access to resources, increase education and raise the bar of what is considered acceptable behaviour.

Increased support for mental and emotional health issues is desperately needed. We are failing here quite spectacularly. Funding will no doubt play a big part of this. From schools to GP surgeries and beyond,  we need to do much better.

  • The culture of acceptability:

No longer making it acceptable for individuals or media (traditional or social) to propagate false or harmful content. Exploring laws, protective rights, and other legal interventions and consequences, alongside cultural non-acceptance of the spouting of hate and maligning that we have been witness to for too long.

  • Community and benefits:

Removing the financial or social benefits of such behaviour. Boycotts or non-response. Unlike, disengage, leave them in the void of silence to think about what they’ve done. Make them fear ‘de-relevance’.

And don’t be fooled by the seemingly, rich, successful and famous that spout hate. Despite appearing to have a very high regard for themselves and plentiful financial resources, if they are bullies and regularly enjoy bringing down others, that is a symptom of a deep insatiable, emotional deficit that they are trying to fill or control.

It has been proven time and time again that the majority of those considered ‘rich and famous’ are far from being pinnacles of mental health and happiness.

At the end of the day, everyone is just doing their best to meet their needs, to move away from pain and towards what they think will make them happy. Some people have more options and internal or external resources to do this than others. We can judge and hate back or we can try and raise our standards for everybody.

Summary:

Any solution will be complex and multi-faceted because the problem is so prevalent across all mediums and demographics. But let’s look at what we can do.

Personally

Don’t get sucked into the circus of gossip, outrage, comparison and B.S. If something or someone makes you feel bad, angry or triggered, step away. Find the emotional development tools that work for you. See it as a prompt for an area of self-work to grow from. Ask yourself why that triggered a response in you; what must you believe to feel that way? Get radically honest with yourself.

Acknowledge that you don’t always have to respond. Sometimes silence is the best answer. Take social media breaks. Don’t believe everything you read. Be kind – always. There is a whole lot of life to live, don’t waste your time on low vibrational information, activates and people. That is so last decade 😉

Check in on your friends, look out for changes in their interactions, unusual quiet spells, red flags or cries for help. This wont always be obvious. If you see friends getting abuse, reach out to them in real life. If someone shares that they are suffering, take it seriously, listen, make time for them. Encourage them to get professional help if you suspect they need more support.

If you are receiving abuse, reach out, get help, please don’t suffer in silence. It’s not actually a reflection on you, it is a reflection of the perpetrators’ own moral and emotional deficits. Don’t take it in. This will not last forever, things can and will get better.  You are not alone in this. You count. Stay.

Numbers to contact for support below.

Don’t feed the monster

Bullies – Recognise that the bullies are working with lower emotional states and emotional deficits. Not engaging, feeding, reacting or participating in any way with them removes the positive reinforcement they get from responses. By responding – you just make them more relevant. If a high profile bully tweets into an empty void of no response and tumbleweed, who wins?  Exactly. Don’t feed the monster.

Papers – we can influence them, vote with your coins, attention and boycott the guilty ones. Force them to raise their standards. They are a business and have to respond if enough people change what they accept or buy into.

Media – don’t click the salacious headlines, boycott the guilty and hateful outlets. You know who they are.

Laws and government – contact your MPs, raise the matter, sign petitions for serious interventions that make the media up its standards and operational procedures that both protect individuals and preserve free speech. 

Education – let’s not leave anyone behind. Let’s create a shared language and access to tools that breed better emotional development and resilience.

Let’s raise our standards, individually, collective, nationally and globally and make this the age of emotional intelligence and better mental health, for everyone.

Let’s all grow up, together.

Choose kindness.

Numbers for support (UK)

  • Samaritans (for everyone) – 116 123
  • CALM (for men) – 0800 58 58 58
  • Papyrus (people under 35) – 0800 068 41 41
  • ChildLine (19 and under) – 0800 1111

#choosekindness #carolineslaw #antibullying #wecandobetter #mentalhealth

#dontchoosehate #votewithyouractions #carolineflackrip #carolineflack

SUSSEX HOLISTIC THERAPIST & COACH
RUTH ANDERSON-DAVIS