The Red Flags of Passive-Aggressive Behavior and How to Deal.

Dealing with passive-aggressive folksIt’s lunch time and you try to avoid seeing anyone in the break room as you know what’s going on in there.  The sharks are circling and trying to get any bit of juicy gossip they can feast on…in order to draw more sharks in.

It’s possible you might not even be aware of what is happening as snide comments are masked, and you are left feeling like you were just complimented and insulted at the same time.  Maybe they even said “Relax.  I’m just kidding.” Like that takes away the sting of their hostility.  The truth is, it doesn’t.  They know that what they said was carefully crafted to hurt.  These people have spent years acting this way and to be honest, might have been raised in a home that used tactics in passive-aggressive warfare. 

Passive-aggressive behavior is actually masked in sarcasm, silent treatment, withholding praise, being critical yet complimentary at the same time, arriving late, procrastinating or avoiding responsibility altogether, and basically sugar-coating mean remarks and hostility.

You can be sure of one thing.  This is open hostility towards you. 

If you noticed any of the above red flags of passive-aggressive co-workers, friends, or even family, it might be hard to deal with.  As a matter of fact, you might just want to shut down, but that’s exactly what they are after so I am going to give you a few tips on how to handle this.

5 Ways to Deal with Passive-aggressive Folks:

  1. Name it for exactly what it is.  Do NOT let them make excuses for why they treat you this way.  “Oh you can’t take a joke.  I was only playing.”  In order to make you think it’s your fault.  The truth is, they can feel when their behavior is wrong.  If someone is using shaming tactics, being unreasonable, making you feel uncomfortable deliberately, trust me, they know.  This is a repeated pattern.
  2. Shore your boundaries.  You can’t change them; however, you can change how you interact with them and how much.  Notice where they hang out and who they hang with.  That says loads about them.  Look them in the eye if they are speaking down to you, and stand up straighter.  Give visual and body language clues by making sure your shoulders are back and your head is held high that you are having none of their crap today.  Or any other day.  You don’t want or need that “energetic pooh” in your life.  << That links to my clean energy tips and what “energy pooh” really is.
  3. Notice how you are being and what triggers them.  If you are having a great day, got a great review, the boss patted you on the back or you got special notice, chances are, they’re probably jealous.  Yup.  Triggers their insecurities and bitterness.  I jokingly said today on my FB Live chat “Mama always liked you best” from the Smother’s Brothers, but it is a true trigger for some people.  Whether or not it happens to be true, the person who uses hostile words masked as “fun” is feeling left out or unloved.
  4. Maintain your composure during the “dig”.  Now is the time to practice RBF…resting bitch face.  Only the eyebrows move up a notch, but you just look at them and say nothing.  You aren’t going to change them, but staring at them for a minute usually makes them say more.  If all else fails, you can use humor, or simply walk away.  Want a bit more on what they are trying to do here?  You can read 5 Ways to Spot an Emotional Manipulator.  Or if guilt seems to be used try reading When Guilt is a Weapon<< opens in new tab.
  5. Be mindful of yourself.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of silly little games, but your weapon can be mindfulness.  How is arguing with them going to help?  What are they trying to gain from this?  Making you look bad.  If you engage, they are trying to poke the bear so to speak.  Oh look at what so and so said to me…can you believe it?  They will conveniently leave out all indication they said anything at all.  Just remember that words can be twisted but if you simply look at them and walk away, they have nothing to use against you.

Looking for a supportive group to build yourself up?  Find out more here.  << Click on I need support.

Boundary Setting and the Empath.

Whew.  This week y’all.  In a few years, people might be reading this article and not know what the energy feels like right now, so let me explain it as best I can.  Many people are dipping heavily into a low-vibration right now around the world.  This is based on true scientific evidence, but for more information read my linked post.  Basically, we shouldn’t feel guilty for the low-vibration energy or negative vibes we feel coming our way right now, but we have to recognize the signs and start putting firm boundaries in place today!

If you are sensitive to other energies, feel like there are times you can actually put yourself in someone’s shoes and feel their pain, you might be an empath.

Empaths have a hard time saying no to people and situations because they want to help and don’t like to cause hurt feelings.  This is a very real thing that starts to drain the empath over time until they just have nothing left to give their own health and wellness.  Sometimes, it takes an entire year to recover from being depleted.

How can boundary setting help?

Setting clear boundaries can protect your own energy and thus keep you from becoming completely wiped out.  It is very essential!!

What can I do to set clear boundaries?

  1. The first thing that I always go to, is of course, my goal setting and intentions.  How do I want to feel after a day?  A week?  A month?  What do I have left to give other people?  If you have to, imagine it like your energy batteries.  When they are completely drained, how long will you last?
  2. When you are out, do you just HAVE to answer that call, text or message from that one friend?  What happens if you don’t?  How do you feel when you say, I can’t talk right now.  I am busy, but will get back to you later.  Do you feel okay?  Do they act weird??  If they act like it’s the worst thing in the world to wait, keep doing it and watch for signs.  Repeated pushing of your boundaries needs to be addressed.  Pronto.
  3. Notice where you put your attention.  Pause before you answer that message.  If you are at work and someone asks you to do something to help them before you are finished with what you already have on your plate, notice how you feel.  Pause and reflect.  Are you giving off the message that you drop your work to help others therefore creating this open invitation?  What happens when you pause and say, I don’t have time right now, but ask me tomorrow.
  4. Make a list of your self-care needs.  If you say “What is self-care?”…you might need to make a list.  Also, you can open the linked post:)
  5. Figure out who tries to cross the line…repeatedly.  This is usually the person who goes right into their story as soon as you answer the phone or message.  I am not talking about your best-friend who needs advice occasionally, nope.  I am talking about the person who needs you all the time.  24/7 and the story is probably the same exact one.  They are using the narcissistic friend cycle of guilt on you.  Every time you think you have helped, the next day they come back again.  It’s the same thing week after week.  Whew.  It drains you repeatedly.

I hope these tips help you and feel free to come on board the Head|Heart|Health Club where will be practicing safe boundaries all month-long and diving deep into our own worth. <<< Click the linked word for more.  We are releasing guilt, shame, and unworthy feelings by learning how to step into our own power by creating new habits that really support our lifelong journey in our heads, hearts and health.

Want more tips?  Check out the Empath’s Guide to Journaling.

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Can You Change from Being Reactive to Proactive?

The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it.  ~Stephen Covey

If you aren’t sure if you are proactive or reactive, think about this quote for a minute.  Covey goes on to say that our behavior is determined by three main factors, and unfortunately, they start to look like a “Pavlov reaction” soon enough.

  • Genes: Did you inherit this character from your family?
  • Nurture: You got your character and ideas from how your parents brought you up.
  • Environment: The people and places around you are starting to influence your behavior.

So now that we have determined the basis for being proactive and reactive, it is likely you just decided that you might be just a wee bit reactive.

I don’t mind joking on myself to make a great point, and you can probably see this coming, but I was raised by very reactive people.  It makes for funny stories, it really does, but it makes it difficult to break out of such a cycle.  Here is where it is necessary to start though.   It is time to take off the gauntlets, and start learning your own set of skills for enacting change in your life.  After all…it is YOUR life. 

At some point in your life, it is likely that you have gotten drawn into the “I am going to have the last word” argument.  If you are someone who usually loves to have the last word, then this part will be difficult for you, but you have to try.  What can you do when every form of logic they are speaking just makes no sense, but they keep talking anyway???  <<< try not to flip out.

Here are a few tips for this situation.

  • They really just want you to come back and argue more in this situation…and nothing you say will actually change their mind.
  • Try this “I am not interested in having this debate with you…so I am going to do something more productive with my time.”
  • Stay silent and just look at them.  How often has this worked for you?  The key to your empowerment is to actually NOT have the last word…thus sending the message that there really is nothing to discuss.

When we are in the reactive state of mind, they control our reactions.  I repeat.  They are in control and usually know this by continuing to bait you. 

Here’s another one for you to think about.  You are at work and that co-worker who plucks your last nerve is spouting off at the meeting, the copy room or the lunch area.  You are minding your own business until they insert something that they claimed they did, but it was your idea first.  It could even be that PTA lady at your kid’s school, but it doesn’t matter.  They are being loud in order to get reactions from people.  They want praise and encouragement to continue this line of thinking.  How are you going to handle this?

  • Look them straight in the eye and congratulate them.  This is one way to handle it, but keep it simple.  Nothing more.
  • You have the choice to explore a different route now…and make your original idea much better.  After going down this route, then present it to your boss.  There’s nothing wrong with waiting until you have tweaked it.
  • Enlist in the support of others if you want to make a bigger impact with your idea.  If you really want to get over this person trying to control the situation, you could even ask them to help you with how to execute this plan.  It’s all in how you phrase it.

As we learn not to be reactive, and turn more towards the proactive way of thinking, we learn not to be stuck in this victim mentality that so many people are using each and everyday.  These reactive people exhibit the following signs.

Signs of reactive thinking:

  1. Failure to accept any responsibility.  It is always someone’s fault…except for theirs.
  2. Everyone in the nearest vicinity is at fault.  Blame never gets caught in their own two hands.  It’s like the game of hot potato…and they throw that thing away before you can see it stopped on them.
  3. They rationalize their destructive habits.
  4. They focus only on the problems...never wanting to move to a solution.
  5. They might live in the past or the “what if” land.  What if things had been different??  But they aren’t.  So here you have it.

Signs of proactive thinking:

  1. The buck stops hereIt is your responsibility to get things done.
  2. You are accountable.  Your goals are clearly defined and you know what you need to do in order to reach them.
  3. You have good problem solving skills or seek out others who can help you create the skills you need in order to accomplish the change you want to see in your life.  It does not have to be business related, it can be completely personal goals.  For example: losing weight.  You have been struggling, so you seek out ways to make it happen with a plan.
  4. They are consistent.  Slow and steady really does work for keeping your eye on the change you want to create in your life.
  5. They aren’t worried about reaching out to the right people in order to succeed.  I have been running a closed group of motivated people from all over the world.  On days we need to remember that our goal is mastering our thoughts, we put in the work, ask the questions in the group, and start back at our monthly goals.  We have surrounded ourselves with like minds in order to really focus on creating this lasting change for ourselves.

In the end, being honest with yourself is best.  If you think it is time to do the work on the inside in order to get results on the outside, we would love to have you in our group.  Being reactive throughout life didn’t really yield any personal satisfaction when I was in my worst pain.  However taking control of those thoughts, and taking control of my Head|Heart|Health, has given me an entirely new outlook on life.

I went from pain of hardly being able to move, to completing 200 hours of Vinyasa yoga teacher training.  I then continued on to get certified in yoga for pain and arthritis.  I left a job that was taking a toll on my health and I learned how to heal myself naturally, and then continued on to get sports nutrition certification.  I started counseling others how to do the same and this year, was proud to announce the new online catalog that includes different options to really take back control of your life.

7 Brilliant Ways to Get Rid of Stress

I bet that you didn’t want to start your week off the way it happened.  But there it is.  Nothing you can do about it.  You forgot a major timeline…or you got sick and missed an important meeting.  Whatever it is, it has you feeling stressed and it’s only the start of your work week.  Because you are stressed out, you start to feel anxious as well.  Which then leads into all sorts of scenarios in your head.  You know your boss is looking at you funny.  What?  Why is everyone in the workroom laughing except they got quiet when you walked in?  Ack.  Your boss thinks you are an idiot.  Chances are, none of these things are true.  But what if they are?  Really?

7 Brilliant Ways to Get Rid of Stress

 

  1. Stop taking things so personally.  Maybe, just maybe, the people in the workroom were laughing at the fact that they were about to surprise you with a party.  Okay, it could happen.  But even if they were laughing at you, who cares?  Yes, you do.  I know that.  Now think about this, this is not a reflection of your actions.  It is a reflection of theirs.  Be polite.  Be professional.  Move on.
  2. Stay in the present moment.  Don’t create a story or a situation that was never there to begin with because that’s how you become your biggest enemy.  I know that you might feel stress creeping up so what if you shifted your attention out of worst case scenario mode and went back to the task at hand?  Always allow your thoughts to pass by, inspect them, and carry on with the present moment.  Here is my friend’s article on releasing anger with her affirmations.
  3. Work out and move your body!  I was doing research for the new yoga flow that I am creating for a workshop, and it said that one of the top ways to remove and release stress was through yoga.  Of course that doesn’t surprise me, so see my previous articles on 3 simple exercises to keep you fit or 10 yoga tips for beginners.
  4. Spend time with your loved ones.  Sometimes, when it’s quitting time, it’s best to quit and go on home.  Your work will be there.  You only have one life and this isn’t a test.  Play some loud music on the way home that you love, unwind, and by the time you get home, try very hard to stay in the present moment there too.
  5. Unplug and unwind.  This one is really hard.  I know it.  it has proven to be difficult for me as well.  I am very thankful for our family vacations away from people…and things…in the mountains.  With literally no service.  No tech.  No T.V.  I know right?  Sounds amazing.
  6. Find your quiet place.  Which brings me to this one, and I know you are thinking you can’t find time to do this, but find time to meditate, journal, take a bath, or do something that you can really focus on in peace and quiet.  Yes, even you new moms can do this!  You really need to make this part of your routine.
  7. Prepare for your next day.  We always all get ready by picking out our clothes, and not having to rush.  Take a minute to do a list of things before you leave the office, home office, school, etc, and when you get in, it will be there to focus you.  That way, you leave it there where it belongs.  Don’t take it home with you.  You can find balance in your work and life.  This leads you on a better path to wellness!

Still feel like you need help?  Sign up for my 4 Weeks to Wellness course OR get help in a closed support group.

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3 ways to motivate yourself…

Are you in a rut?  Read on for motivation.

Have you ever heard the old saying “do what you love and love what you do?”  Well, if you haven’t heard it, stop and think about it for a moment.  If you can’t bear the thought of getting out of bed one more morning to go to your J.O.B. (Just Over Boring-Ass-Work), then it might be time to change things up a little bit.  But before you write your resignation, stop for a minute and take a good hard look at how you are coming into work.  Do you come to work fully prepared or are you scrambling everyday to get things done?  Do you greet people, you know everyone, not just the people in your work “clique”, with a smile?  What about that guy who gets on your nerves?  Mr. Loud on the phone?  Instead of blowing up at him one day, try giving him a compliment.  I know it’s difficult.  Trust me on this.  But try.  See if you can love what you do, and after trying this for a while, then think hard on what you want out of life.

Add some movement to your day.  This might seem like a little thing, but if you are working in a cubicle with no windows, set a timer.  Grab an office buddy and say hey, we need to take a walking break at lunch.  Let’s get out for a bit.  If you can’t leave your office, walk around it for a while.  I know this sounds funny, but do it.  Take the stairs, take extra hallways, just add extra movement.  I know someone who stands to use their computer…and I recently read an article on a treadmill system for the computer.  I am definitely not there yet.  But do some research on how being inactive harms the health…and then present a plan to your boss.  You know adding a pull-up bar to your doorway for folks.  Ha.  That’d be funny.  Nope, not today Fred.  You can’t come in until you do a pull-up, we’ll have to reschedule.  Only not so funny if Fred is your boss:)

Make small goals…that are actually achievable.  I love lists.  I have paper everywhere in my house.  Calendars.  Notebooks.  But I just bought this awesome list type notebook with quotes at the bottom of each page.  I might have a thing for quotes you know.  Anyway, I am jotting down 5 goals for each day.  Today I did yoga first thing in the morning at home before all my other work.  Erm…thus me writing later than usual, but HEY, I did one of my goals.  It feels good to be able to mark something off a list.  I have no idea why, but it does.  Maybe because I work from home and I am my own boss, but still.  Goals are important to me.  I made sure I followed up with clients, posted wellness tips, talked to another person I am helping with some goal planning, and finished writing another article I needed to write.  I like to get things done.  If you are not getting things done, put them where you can see them!  Mark those bad boys off.

As always, thank you for leaving me a comment on what works best to motivate you through your day.  And don’t forget the little social media sharing devices when you like love my tips!  Thank you readers.3 ways to motivate

See the top tab on Head|Heart|Health Club if you loved these tips!

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5 ways to find your zen.

Zen habits

There are times in your life when you need to just breathe…or scream.  Screaming is not appropriate at work though, so we need to find other ways to manage our stress.  This is always easier said than done.  We worry, fret, and work ourselves into a tizzy over something that might happen.  We ponder, speculate, and look for hidden meanings in the words of everyone around us.  Life would be much easier if people just said what they meant…well, maybe.  I know I work better that way, but perhaps not everyone does.  In the meantime, we need to work with what we are given.  This applies to all aspects of life, not just work.

5 ways to find your zen:

  1. Focus on the task at hand.  I realize this is easier said than done, but if you really work to train your mind on the task at hand, we can get into our flow.  We actually can shift the way we think and remove the obstacles we place in our minds.  We are moving away from distractions and really focusing on what’s in front of us.
  2. All in.  Are you all in or only sort of here?  Be present.  In order to be in the present moment, you have to really pull your thoughts back.  Think of your thoughts moving continuously like a river.  That is the basis of flow.  The ego falls away and you are in the moment.  It is almost like timelessness.  The end of the day comes and you got so much done that you didn’t even realize you were in flow.  That’s how I feel in yoga.  I am in my flow.  Flow experiences can occur in different way for different people, but we have strong concentration during the task.
  3.   Rest.  Sometimes, you need a break after a long stretch of working on things.  This is something I have a problem with and I am learning to let go.  After being in my flow, I know that if I stop, it takes me longer to recover than most people.  I learned I need to set a timer since I work from home.  In an office setting, you can get up and stretch your legs.  Get a coffee.  At home, I tend to just get back to work.  It’s very important to remember everyone needs a break too…even if you are the boss.
  4. Simplify your workspace.  Do you every find yourself looking for things and they were under piles of paper?  Do you not know important dates because you have a calendar system that’s messy and difficult?  Work to simplify things.  Don’t over book yourself.  Keep meetings to the point.  Keep your desk neat and tidy.  Work on diving up your task into smaller, easier to handle chunks.  If you work from home, do the same thing.  Keep an orderly space.  It helps clear the mind.
  5. Let go of that which does not serve you.  This is my favorite one.  Gossip?  Does not serve you in any way shape or form.  Let it go.  Truthfulness?  Yes.  It serves to make your life easier.  Weigh your responses before answering.  Jealousy over what others have?  Does not serve you again.  Gratitude for what you have serves you much better and brings about more happiness.  Too many possessions?  Clutter?  Thank the items and give them to someone who needs them.  This is way we create space for things we need to come into our lives.  Remember, if it doesn’t do you any good, you don’t need to focus on it in your life.  Period.

My good friend said to me “What other people think of me is none of my business.”  I loved that line and made her repeat it.  I instantly thought of ways to apply that to my life.  The next time someone says something snippy to me, I will breathe in and out and maybe even make the “ohmmm” sound in my mind as they are speaking.  Knowing me, I might even say it out loud until it annoys them.  Zen is the practice of “not doing”.  You are not reacting to things around you when the world might be in chaos.  You need to still the thoughts that are going on in your head and think about the bigger picture.

 “Life is short.  Time is fleeting.  Realize the self.  Purity of heart is the gateway to God.  Aspire.  Renounce.  Meditate.  Be good; do good.  Be kind; be compassionate.  Inquire, know Thyself.”

~Swami Sivananda