Ever been shamed?
Recently a message on Facebook from a teenage shopper went viral after she’d overheard staff making rude comments about her. We love this girl – she took such a powerful approach, her post achieving the opposite of what she had experienced with the #makelovenotwar. Here’s the full post: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/36892832
It’s fantastic that it went viral and seen be so many people worldwide – a shining example of keeping your power and choosing your response. It does make you think about human nature: what made the shop assistants make the comments in the first place? Where does unpleasant behaviour towards others come from – and let’s be honest, haven’t we all been guilty of it at some time?
We believe, as human beings, we all want to fit in, be liked and succeed in life and this can lead us to be in ‘constant check mode’ – are we measuring up? We can become self-conscious, compare ourselves unfavourably to others, doubt ourselves and lack confidence. To counter this we employ strategies to make us feel better.
There are lots of examples – putting other people down is just one: if I put you down it will make me feel better about myself. Others include:
Self-deprecation – if I put myself down first no-one else can.
Control and micro-management: if I control everything it will go the way I want it to.
Inaction or passivity (I can’t get anything wrong if I do nothing).
An extreme example is bullying .
These behaviours can have negative or limiting impacts on ourselves and on those around us.
We all have them.
Be honest, what bad behaviour can you be guilty of?
In a working environment, research by Christine Porath, a US University professor, has shown that performance drops by up to 30% in an uncivil environment.” One where bad behaviour is commonplace.
Once we are conscious of strategies, we have a better understanding of what is driving our and others behaviour – and can make the choice to change and respond differently.
What strategies do you employ to make you feel better? Think about how you behave in the following situations:
- Faced with people I don’t like? Eg become judgemental.
- Worried what people think of me?
- Trying to fit in with people I don’t know?
- Feeling irritated or frustrated?
- Feeling I’m failing and beating myself up?
- Having to wing it (I don’t know what I’m doing)?
Now you’ve uncovered some ugly truths – is it time to change?
Think about how you will be next time you are faced with each situation.
What will you do differently?
Couple this with harnessing everything we believe positively about ourselves we can maintain our power and choose our response – managing ourselves and others much more effectively.