How to protect yourself when someone is trying to hurt you.
When someone is in their own shame storm they are prone to try to hurt you or hook you. When this happens first off notice how you are feeling. Do you feel shame? Do you want to react by fleeing, fighting or freezing? That would be your lizard brain being triggered.
Instead of reacting from your lizard brain notice how you feel. Notice how your body feels. I know this can be really uncomfortable. I invite you to test out feeling your feeling.
You are quite possibly feeling shame. When in this place it it important to give yourself space to process instead of reacting to the shame triggers.
In an interview with Brené Brown, she recommended telling the person who is trying to hurt you, “I don’t have the capacity to respond to this right now.”
Give yourself space from this person to process your shame instead of immediately responding from a place of shame. According to Brené “there is very little we do in shame that is productive or helps us move through it.”
Get back on your feet. Get yourself grounded and check in with yourself if this is true.
Then reach out to someone you trust. Someone who has earned the right to hear your story. Share your story of your experience with your trusted friend, partner, family member or colleague. This is an important step because Brené’s says “shame can not survive being spoken.” Once you share your shame with a trusted person, shame can not survive.
Once you have done these steps you can decide how you want to respond to the person who tried to hurt or hook you. Is this a person who you have an invested relationship – friend, family member, or partner? Or is this someone up “in the stands” looking for a way to bring you down?
If the person is an important relationship to you, after you have processed your shame and are coming from a clean place you can now discuss the issue at hand. If the person is “up in the stands” you can walk away.
I invite you to practice these steps. They will be uncomfortable and difficult at first. When learning new skills that is the path. Practice, reflect and practice some more.