I call it ‘fear dropping’, which happens when people throw their fears at you, stop and watch the result for a moment, and even sometimes, you can feel their internal satisfaction for accomplishing this cruel act.
Let me give you a quick example to showcase what I mean; You announce to your friends that you’re expecting twins. Do a quick mental calculation of how many of them are going to be genuinely happy for you and your partner, take you in their arms saying that you’re the luckiest couple on earth? Rather than saying OMG what are you going to do guys? I’m so pleased it’s not me. Etc… Now, you should get an idea of what I mean by ‘fear dropping’. You haven’t even finished your sentence that your colleague, friend or family member is already thinking of the way they would feel if it was happening to them rather than just listen and assess what you need from your friend/colleague at that moment in time.
Be aware; this article is not about ‘listening’; I’ll write an article specifically on the topic soon, as even if they are somehow linked, what I’m highlighting here is the fact that suddenly you have to deal with feelings or fears that you didn’t have a minute ago. Just because the person who crossed your way had difficulties coping with their insecurity, they had to drop it on you.
That right, your colleague or friend will have an opinion or feeling about the topic, if it is a negative one, the likelihood is that you’ll have to work through their negative thoughts with them before continuing the conversation. Unfortunately, challenging times or situations are where you’ll notice most often ‘fear dropping’. The reason is that they are happy to deal with the pleasant thoughts and feelings. Don’t give me wrong; I’m more than happy (and not only because it’s my job) to support people going through challenging times. However, I want (and so should you) it to be my choice.
In conclusion, there are two folds to this article. The first one is, if someone does ‘fear drop’ on you, don’t take it personally as it had nothing to do with you in the first place even if you started the conversation. Your interlocutor has issues to work on, and that’s okay but make sure you choose to deal with them or not. It must always be your choice no matter what Also, bear in mind that the person ‘fear dropping’ on you is often someone you don’t know… Like the stranger making an effort to come to tell you that your kids are misbehaving in a public space. It is hard at the beginning to not take it personally, but like everything with practice, it becomes easier.
The second fold of this article is that as always, start by watching yourself to stop ‘fear dropping’ on people even if you find it liberating for a moment; you’re generating negative energy which will come back to you, as well as making you sound selfish and very likely rude. So pay attention to your attitude towards your social circles or strangers and try to make it experimentation by trying to retrace where this need to express your fear came from, learn from these instances.
Finally, I’d like to complete this article by saying that most people don’t ‘fear drop’ on purpose. It is their ego talking to them therefore likely to be unconscious, and for most of us, it just became a reflex.
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