When Guilt is a Weapon. How do you respond?

Guilt as a weapon

Advice was needed.  I read the message and knew immediately someone was being manipulated…yet again.  Manipulation is when someone uses tactics, such as guilt, to try to make you do something you might not normally want to do…or even consider doing.

When guilt is used as a weapon, many things can occur. 

Guilt can actually cause physical pain, mental pain, and is a powerful emotion that sometimes overrides reason.  The body was light just moments before reading a guilt-inducing message, and now the body begins to feel heavy.  The heaviness can be associated with feelings of resentment.  If you have truly done something wrong, guilt is a natural emotion; however, manipulative people use it as a weapon, and that is not acceptable.

In my closed group, we are exploring the boundaries we need to put in place when someone purposely tries to make us feel this way.  This can be saying yes when we really mean no, taking on more work when we already have a full plate, or even having other friends trying to make you feel like it is your fault that they aren’t getting something done because you said no.  Did you just nod your head or get shivers up your spine?

There are several characteristics of someone who uses guilt as a weapon. 

  • It isn’t always obvious at first, that they are trying to make you feel bad.
  • They might also use emotional manipulation tactics.
  • They might be your partner, and use wording like “If you cared about me, you would…”
  • They get angry when you enforce boundaries…because they know you are onto them.
  • Guilt doesn’t forgive as easily as someone who builds relationships out of trust.
  • They pretend to be the martyr…doing you a favor.
  • And the empaths favorite manipulator, the narcissistic friend.

So how do you deal with the weaponized guilt?

  1. The first thing you have to do is to decide you are done.  Quite simply, done.  This is your life, not theirs.  Any other answer lets them push the boundaries time and time again.
  2. The truth is, you have something they want to use.  So use it to your advantage, not theirs and make a plan.  They are trying to make you feel insecure for what reason??  Write it down and think about their motives.
  3. Can you stand up for yourself with the truth?  Here is your test.  Disentangle yourself from this situation without using the word “sorry”.  You have nothing to be sorry for, and your time is valuable as well.  Write down your truth in one sentence that makes you feel empowered.  You have always had the power, remember that.
  4. Put on your cape…and go.  You have been used, yes.  But put your cape on and do not feel guilty.  They are trying to use your insecurity against you, but look back over what you have that they want.  Your cape is your truth.  You are worthy of great friends, good relationships, and a positive work ethic.  Not one that makes you constantly feel used and underappreciated (can insert not feeling like shit in your journal).  What is the opposite of that feeling?  Use the words to surround yourself in this cape of truth and protection.

While this message is for a friend of mine, it also goes for all of you reading this.  Don’t let someone shift this guilt to you and tell you how they think you are feeling at this moment.  Again, that is their interpretation of the situation.  Move far, far away from the mind games, and the use of them saying things “people have been telling me…” what people?  No one.  They made that up.

Do not let them use self-pity and if it face to face, as it never is, back it up with body language as well; however, if it is a message, do not prolong the chat.  Short and concise truth statements is all they need.  Not a back and forth.  The longer you draw it out, the more they will twist and try to give you reasons to crumble.  Stand in your truth today.

Want to work more fully on releasing guilt and setting boundaries?  Join us today!

 

Save

Dating Again After Heartbreak…5 Tips to Share

A reader actually asked about this, so I am digging way deep into my own archives of experience, as well as the experience of a group of women I call “sisters”.

One of the women who I speak with regularly thought she noticed a pattern in her life that was leading her to date again.  I flashed back to over 20 years ago, when I had a long-term relationship of about 5 years end.  The first thing I wanted to do was actually be alone; however, it lasted only a few weeks.  I was in college and thought the way to get over a relationship was to immediately jump back into one.  Oh boy.  If I could give myself some advice…I know exactly what I would say.

5 Tips on Dating After Heartbreak:

  1. Are you comfortable being alone?  If the answer is yes, then it might be time to explore, not necessarily date, but probe the idea again.  If the answer is no, then that really needs to be researched a bit longer.  It goes from being you and so-and-so to you.  You can really start to test what it’s like being just you again and what compromises you have made over the years for you know, good ole’ so-and-so.
  2. Check for a repeat pattern.  Do you tend to choose the same people again and again?  What could you do differently this time?  Don’t dwell on this too much or beat yourself up, but definitely use this as a wake up call.  Note, click on the linked words to read more on a pattern you must break!
  3. Listen to your gut feelings.  If something is probably a mistake, it is.  <<< Seriously listen to that feeling and just say no to the date, the call, the re-bound date, etc.  Don’t ever let someone talk you into doing something you are not comfortable with, even if it’s a blind date.  It might be the best thing in the world, or it might be a mistake.  Listen to your own feelings and explore them.  Take time.  You can actually have phone conversations like in the old days with the person before you ever even go out.
  4. Do not be desperate…be true to yourself!  Worse than being alone is actually being in the wrong relationship.  Trust me on this.  Especially a verbally abusive or physically abusive one.  That will take some time to heal from and the wounds might run deep.  You don’t want children around that, and you also don’t want your inner child around that.  Take long, deep thoughts on what you want to create in a relationship this time around.  What would it look like for you?  How would you feel?  What are the ways you would be supported?
  5. Time doesn’t heal all things.  <<< Why people say it does, is beyond me.  Take as long as you need.  There is no one else in this world who has to live with your decisions except for you.  Don’t make the wrong ones!  It can spiral out into the life of your family and over time, yes, they will hurt as well.  Remember your self-talk, the talk you say in front of your children about an ex, or even how you talk to yourself in front of a new person.  What are you putting out there on social media?  Hatred and anger?  Dirty laundry?  Take some time to process in a  journal.  Not on social media.  Find the good in your life and hold on tight!

In the end, you will know when you are ready, but there really is nothing wrong with working on yourself for a while as you put the broken pieces back together.  You will eventually be okay again and you will know when you are ready to trust someone once again with that precious thing called your heart.

Trust

Save

On Speaking Your Truth (and how to release the outcome)

Dear friends,

How difficult is it for you to stand up for yourself in a way that honors your spirit and soul and yet allows you to release the outcome?  If you are like me, this might be difficult.  As I write from the heart about my experiences, I have had many days where after I hit the publish on a post I want to take it back.  One such day was the day I poured out my heart and soul on my empath post.

I was getting messages, friend requests and more.  The Facebook fan page always welcomes my fans and I appreciate your many messages of support.  What I did not expect was outright plagiarism of my work.  This did not come my fans, but other sites claiming to work from the heart.  Working from the heart, using my experiences.  Interesting.

So as I work through speaking the truth without fear of my voice being stolen, I would like to offer you some advice. <<< By the way, I feel like Ariel and the Sea-witch Ursula.  Sites trying to lure people in…using other voices.

On Speaking Your Truth:

  1. Live by being authentic.  If I would advise you on something, I better be ready to do the same thing.  I want to give you genuine advice that I would want given to me.  That is pretty simple to follow.
  2. Live by example.  If you tell the world that you wouldn’t do something, but you do it anyway, well, there really is no truth in that.  My for example is that now the site of my stolen work has a disclaimer saying I can nicely ask them to take it down.  I tried that, but then they just re-wrote it slightly different, still using my experiences.  Interesting.
  3. Have the courage to speak up…without fear that you are doing something wrong.  You know the old saying, two wrongs don’t make a right?  Well, if you speak up about an issue that is important to you, and you do so in a manner that is true to you, as nice as you think you can be in this situation just stating plain facts, you are doing what you felt called to do.  You can still walk away with your head high because you tried to do the right thing.
  4. Only take care of you.  This one is hard because you really want the other person to do the right thing and understand how you feel in this situation, but the bottom line is, they might not care.  You can’t micromanage the feelings that the other person should have.  This is very difficult if you are someone who feels very deeply.  The other person might be emotionally detached from the situation and therefore, just not be invested in the outcome like you are.
  5. Let. It. Go.  How many of you get to this point, but just stay in the driver seat like Thelma and Louise going over the cliff?  Yup.  You are not sure what to do.  I get it because I am just like you.  Letting go requires that we have a greater faith in the universe and God (or whatever you believe), and that we are being supported as we go through the hard things in life.  Trust me.  You guys have read my about me.  I honestly believe that I am being supported as I navigate life and that each step is to show me something I might not have considered before.

As I stared at my work being taken, a feeling of sadness overtook me.  What am I supposed to learn from this?  How can I protect myself and my readers? 

If you read through a blog article and you get to the bottom of the article, look to see if the source is there, really hidden away.  If it was taken from another blog without that person knowing, go directly to the blog and say something like “Hey, I just read this on this site called Steal All Your Stuff (fake name).”  Here is where I found it, and copy the link.  These sites have no photos usually of the owner and appear to have fake names as well.  Why are they hiding?

Usually, if permission was given, the source will be credited right at the beginning saying guest post from X.  Or used with author’s permission from X source.  It will be boldly at the top…not hidden away, with another author’s name at the top like they wrote it.  Also, what I have found is that sites who work correctly also give a nice author’s bio at the bottom.  This benefits both sites.  It shows that the author has in fact, given his/her blessing.

It’s sometimes difficult to be an advocate for yourself, but hopefully if you advocate for others, it will get easier to tell your truth as well. 

breathe

Get What You Want in Life with These 5 Steps

Did you know that our thoughts really and truly shape our destiny?  I am sure by now you know that you have more power over your future than you give yourself credit in having.  Many people think that what happens next is out of their control.  I know that I was once one of those people when I was very ill.

I made it a habit to change my thoughts daily and it helped improve my life tremendously in many ways.  I still have to remind myself to keep focused on the positive and to constantly re-direct myself to the best possible things that could happen and not think of the worst.  It really is a work in progress daily, which is why I am inviting you to the One Minute a day challenge right now!

Each day I want you to think of one thing you want out of life.  Maybe it’s the same thing each day, but truly envision it, see it, smell it, and imagine what living like this would be like.  Next, I have these 5 tips for you to get what you want out of life.

5 Steps to Get What You Want Out of Life:

  1. Accept that you are in control of your life.  Your life equals your mistakes.  I know that you want to be able to blame your boss, your co-worker, maybe even someone else, but don’t.  Start living with the thought that you are in control and only what is good is coming your way.  This does not mean I am saying think your prayers aren’t heard if you pray…just don’t blame anyone else.  Know that what goes on in your head can be changed by you and you alone.
  2. Get clear on what you want.  Do you know what type of life you want?  Where you want to be in 3 years?  What you want your day to look like?  Get clear on everything you want to come into your life.  The good stuff only.  See the big picture!  If this is difficult for you, see the Head|Heart|Health tab on group coaching.
  3. Live your truth.  I am not saying quit your job today; however, if it is not something that really ever made you happy, admit it.  What would it look like if you worked somewhere with people who made you happy?  What would your ideal job/boss/office type situation be like and what can you do to work towards it?  Be aware of your truths as you work and do what keeps you on your path right now so that you might have a chance to go down another path in the near future.
  4. Believe that it is possible.  This part is really key!  What does your belief system in yourself look like today?  Is it not very good?  Do you lack self-esteem?  Do you accept challenges or tend to shrink from them?  If going through a tough spot meant you could change your life, how would you react?  Just believe that you have the abilities to accomplish your dreams and keep on saying it.
  5. Act on your dreamsWhen it comes time to do it, whatever it is, don’t back away from it because you are afraid it might not work.  We all have failures sometimes, but the leap of faith that we take to try to do the impossible encourages us and boosts our confidence for the next time something great comes along.  We can’t be afraid to say yes once again!

Ultimately, if you expect different outcomes for your future, you have to start thinking like it, acting like it, and changing your path.  Journaling is a powerful tool I use in my 4 Weeks to Wellness program and each day we work on one goal to get closer to what we want.  You really can get what you want out of life!

leap

Save

Save

10 Things You Notice Near an Empath

10 Things You Notice Near an EmpathAuthor’s note:  This is not for use on other websites as it is my personal story.  ~Aimee~

I once called the insurance phone number to ask a question.  An hour later, the woman had shared her whole life story with me and I am not sure she ever answered my question, but I made her feel better.  What is an empath anyway and did I just make that up?  There are probably thousands of stories like this for me, but I want you to think about times you have interacted with someone and felt all the same feelings they have…or perhaps they have told you things you just didn’t really need to know. 

My entire life, I have felt different.  I think I have tried really hard to keep a lid on it all until the last 5 years.  Derived from the Greek “em” (in) and “pathos” (feeling), the term empathic means I am able to “feel into” others’ feelings.  At first, I thought I was just using my computer skills to really know what to post on my fan page for the blog.  I always seemed to post just the right quote for my real-life friends, and my page continued to grow that way.

After a while, people began to really identify with my story, and came to me for answers.  I continued to grow my client list in my all-natural supplement business Vitalize You because I could get to the root of what the client needed.  I learned that I felt what my client was saying to me and within a few short conversations, seriously knew what they needed to do whether it was on the phone or through messaging.  I could pick up on vibrations. 

So what does this all mean for you if you are friends with one?  I have a few tips on what you might notice.

10 Things You Notice Near an Empath:

  1. Please take what we say seriously.  If you ask us for advice, even if it sounds crazy, there is some truth in it.  We just know things and it bothers the heck out of us when you ask us for advice and don’t listen.  Sometimes things makes sense to us long before they make sense to you…and that includes “coincidences” that aren’t really a coincidence at all.
  2. Lies have no place in any conversation with us ever.  The surest way to ruin a friendship with an empath is to continue lying to them.  It’s just sad really because there is no point and it has been really painful for me personally.  I have had to look into the eyes of a close friend and see the hesitation for a split second and I literally felt the lie as it slipped over my skin.  I can’t explain it and I don’t want to.  It is one of my most uncomfortable traits to not be able to turn off.
  3. Any national tragedy is unbearable…no matter how far away.  I wrote a post after Sandy Hook Elementary School was in the news and to this day I can’t read about it.  Period.  I become the pain in a way I can’t explain to other people.  Plus, I was also a teacher.  I can’t “unfeel” so the less I know, the better.
  4. They always look tired.  I love everyone, I do.  But stop asking me why I have dark circles under my eyes.  They have been there my whole life.  Many empaths get diagnosed with chronic fatigue because they don’t know how to shield themselves properly from energy vampires.  This is a work in progress for many.
  5. Healing often becomes their way of life.  My friend called me the bridge the other night.  I was like interesting.  I am the bridge.  I see what needs to be done and I just suggest it for others.  Whether it is tests, home remedies, alternative methods, exercise, nutrition, or holistic therapy suggestions, I just see it.  It is how I approached my own care and came up with my wellness program, and it is how I have helped hundreds of others.  It is my job to bridge the gap between modern medicine and what needs to be done in your body.
  6. They might get distracted easily and daydream.  This is really true as I can feel some currents and go off on some other task.  This is one of the reasons I have to stay organized as best I can.
  7. Living a lie would be damn near impossible.  If someone asks me to do something I don’t like…I find a way to procrastinate.  However, the procrastination might just be my intuition saying you really have to tell them no.  Likewise, when someone asks me to do anything at all like “covering up for them” or “lie for them” I have a hard time holding in my anger at this type of behavior.
  8. No room for narcissism at all. I was asked to be in this group of people who were fawning all over someone.  I thought I was going to lose my shit on all of them because the guy shows how much money he has, what he drives, how many people “love” him, and it is the biggest act I have ever seen.  Things nobody has time for.  THAT.  My BS meter is way too high.
  9. The love of animals is strong within us.  Most empaths love their animals as if they are furry children and would do anything for them.  Anything.  So just know that if you don’t like our animals…we know and you won’t last long around us.
  10. Empaths need laughter daily.  We are connected to our bodies, sometimes.  Mostly, we are in our heads.  BUT you can help us by asking us to live in the moment with you.  To laugh.  To get out of the house if we are in hermit mood, because sometimes the world is too much for us to take.  We need to remember what it’s like to be connected.

I can’t say that this is your friend…or you, but if you identify with all of these things, then yes, you probably know what it’s like to be an empath.  I unfortunately mean what I say as I utter“I feel your pain.” I always appreciate my close friends understanding this of me and giving me the space to breathe and recharge.  Note: here is a follow-up on How to Protect Yourself from Negative Energy.  <<< from all the questions I get.

blessing_curseInterested in a place where you can learn to control your thoughts?  Check out the Empaths Guide here.  <<< 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

How to Create Space to Breathe.

Danielle LaPorte says “Letting go makes way for something closer to your truth…which is always more beautiful. Always.”  Did you know that you can even let go of plans, appointments and commitments in your life?  Well you can.  I am giving you permission to say no to being over-programmed.  Your kids too.  Let’s begin this process shall we?

It’s Friday!!  Woo-hoo I am so excited to sit down and relax.  But wait, I have to pick up Johnny, then take him to a sleep over, then dry-cleaning was ready, but no, that doesn’t work because it’s not on the way…wait, crap!  Did I agree to meet someone for cocktails later?  I think I did.  I said I needed to relax.  When all I want to do is go home.  Let’s see.  I will relax tomorrow!  But wait, I have to take Mia shopping and then pick up Johnny, and then Mia has a soccer game.  Maybe tomorrow night, yes tomorrow night, I will rest.  Did someone ask me to play Bunco?  Okay, Sunday.  At least I have Sunday.  But I agreed to host family dinner didn’t I?

Clearly, I made all of this up based on imaginary mom thoughts…or did I?  Does this sound like your thoughts?

How can we create more space in our lives to just breathe?

  1. Just say no.  I know this is the most obvious, but it’s like a drug campaign and you need to repeat it.  Saying no to guilt about disappointing others is something I have already tried to teach my daughters.  It’s not easy.  It is practicing self-care, and that’s important to your mental health and well-being.  It really is.  What is the worst thing that will happen if you say no?  They won’t invite you?  Well good.  You just created much-needed space.
  2. Write down your perfect night.  This one might seem silly if you don’t journal, but it actually helps you to stay focused on what you want and not lose sight of it.  Sometimes, what other people want, sway our decisions.  We want to feel loved, popular, liked, maybe even honored to be invited to so many things.  But ultimately, we get caught up in the rush.  It’s okay to stay the course on your vision.
  3. Pencil in a date…with you.  Yesterday, I had a list 2 miles long of things I am trying to complete in the next 2 weeks.  I might be launching some big program on here.  It’s totally fine.  I am not quite ready…but whatever.  Because here is what I know…IT will happen at the right time.  It will still be there when I am ready.  So I took some time and made a date with a friend because I wanted to see this new little bakery.  I enjoyed speaking to all the shop owners in this spot…and they told me what having a store front is like and living your dream.  It was a needed date with myself to reflect on where I am going with my business.  Plus I got time to chat with my friend face to face, which I am big on.
  4. Say YES to things that make you happy. If you are saying yes to things that actually don’t make you happy, examine why?  Is it because I am lonely and want more friends?  Do I not feel supported at home?  Do I not like down time, because I am unsure of myself?  Start thinking about activities that make you feel alive.  Jot down 3 things you would like to see happen in your life.  Make space for them.
  5. Just breathe.  I am breathing in.  I am breathing out.  Just focus on the breath.  Take a few moments wherever you are.  The desk.  The car.  At night.  But create that space in your life for the right things to show up.  Visualize your whole body relaxing.  Let go and make the way to something closer to your truth.  Not the truth of others. 

Click to read more about letting go.