I think when we reflect badly about others, it is because something is perceived as not going well in our own lives. Our psyche tries to make is feel better by being mean about someone else. So how does this reflect on us?
In a mean moment, as it dawned on me that perhaps I felt dissatisfied about an aspect of my life, I reflected. What's that about? Often life doesn't look like or turn out how we imagined. More often than not it is better but we don't see it as we are blinded by our feelings that we are not where we want to be. So what did I do in my moment?
I breathed in. Through my nose. As I listened to my favourite 80's music I reflected on letting go of the stress, anxiety and present feelings. They were not serving me, nor putting me in a position to help others. This is not the place I wanted to be in.
So what can I do, in general, to help myself? I can be grateful for absolutely where I am for a start. Things are not as bad as they seem. In fact, they are great. I can also take a small step forward in some way. In coaching we often ask clients to think about what one small step can you now take towards your goal? I had to take this step for myself.
When we are in a mean state, we need to stop and turn it around. We will lack authenticity in a mean state as people will sense something is not right. A compliment will sound sarcastic or a little rude, our actions might not reflect our real thoughts and intentions. Are we mean on purpose? I don't think so. But be careful, as we might appear rude.
In my light bulb moment, I stopped, looked inside and thought, what am I missing here? What do I need to do to regain a feeling of forwardness or positivity? At the moment, I am not exercising much at all, have put on a few kilos and find myself doing things I know don't help me. I am in a spiral downward. I often think in terms of a cork screw. We can spiral up or spiral down. We are never stagnant and never always going in one direction, but catching yourself before you spiral too far down is a good idea.
Habits came to my mind. What can I change now that will help a little?
Again, what small step can I take the will allow me to feel a little better. When you feel on a downward spiral, what do you do? How far down do you go? I am not suggesting to feel the feels of where you are on the spiral, but I don't want you to get caught somewhere. Likewise too high as this doesn't function long term either.
For me, this idea is simply about awareness and reflection. What can we do to help ourselves in these moments, gain perspective and see which way we want to go? Up or down. I choose up and hope you do to.
David Corcoran is a Executive Voice Coach. He helps people take responsibility for their communication. This Blog contains his regular musings, thoughts and ideas. He is based in Vienna, Austria.