In today’s article what I want to teach is essentially how to block the transaction between the dumper (the person who unloads all his problems into someone else’s system ) and the dumpee (the person who receives and listens to the problems).
I want to offer a strategy to interrupt this process. When you interrupt the process it will get a reaction. It’s important to be aware of this because the person is used to having a lationship with you that is based on certain rules which are contingent and dependent on you being the receptacle of their emotions.
“As long as you continue to do what I want, I will be pleased with you.”
“We’re friends so long as you are a receptacle for my emotions.”
“It really upsets me when you don’t phone.” Now what we have is an emotional exchange. The message is you haven’t’ fulfilled my expectations so I’m warning you and delivering you the emotional expression of “upset”. You don’t want them to be upset so you’ll phone.
Here are some more emotionally driven statements that you might recognize.
Essentially this is one person putting information into another, the recipient, with an invitation to take on board what I’m saying as well as to change their behavior.
It’s also a power game which says, “I will continue to be your friend as long as you continue to play my game.” There’s a degree of manipulation.
In my Slimming in My Salon workshops I’ll get people to practice the following magic words, “That’s right.” You’re giving confirmation that you’ve heard. You’re not arguing or disagreeing.
By responding to “I’m very upset you didn’t call” with “Yes I was going to call but….”, you’re essentially invalidating the other’s point of view by giving a counter point of view and then the discussion goes back and forth and into the same old pattern of communication that it’s always been with this person.
What happens next is a moment of tension because this isn’t what normally happens. These aren’t the familiar rules.
To make it more conversational and release the tension, we don’t just block the emotion, we block and return.
That’s right, you’re very disappointed.
That’s right. You’re very angry.
The important detail here, is that we’re deleting ourselves out when we return it.
Don’t say ”that’s right you’re very angry with me.” Keep it about them and delete out the component about yourself.
This kind of communication makes the emotional state of the person communicating with us, visible to them.
While they’re expressing anger towards you the only thing that’s relevant to them is you. That’s why we feed back their state to them.
The person who’s angry and disappointed with you, the chances are they’re always angry or disappointed about something.
They manage to distract themselves from thinking about themselves because they make it about other people. In order to do that, they have to recruit players for the reciprocal part of the game.
You can recognize this pattern easily when it comes to weightloss.
“I made this cake especially for you.”
“You don’t’ need to lose weight.”
“I thought you liked this dish.”
What’s really important here is that you’re in control of yourself and the relationships you hold and the information and food you take into your system. Other people don’t have the right to expect you to take things on board just because they want you to do that.
Start by making a list of those frustrating statements where you feel coerced into not being you and pressured to fulfill the expectation set of the other person.
Don’t’ worry about the context. Just write down the words that they use that deliver the coercion. Hear those words in your head and practice saying out loud, “That’s right. You…” and see what happens.
Every interaction with people in your life will either bring you closer or push you further away. It’s your choice.
You can’t change people. You can only change your reaction to them and once you do that you create an environment where they can change.