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Newsletter vol. 28 - Don't stand for it! (Dealing with conflict/Wim Hof)

I’ve been making full use of our new health club membership this week. It’s literally been my second home as I’ve swam, gymed it, gone to exercise classes, met a friend for lunch and worked from there a couple of times.

This was all very nearly ruined by one very rude gentleman! 😡

So to cut a long story short my Facebook Ads account was hacked in April and I’ve been battling with Facebook since then to get my account activated again, with no joy. I had been put in contact with a very clever guy in India, a Facebook expert, who was going to help me to sort it out. I sat in the clubhouse, in the corner, on a table furthest away from anyone, with my work things all spread out around me. I had never paired my airpods to my laptop before and I was still struggling to sort it as the guy from India was waiting for me to join the call. I joined, whispering into my laptop with my face right up against the webcam (not attractive!), as he talked me through the steps. I was literally on the call for 5 minutes when a rather intimidating man came over to my table and in front of everyone shouted at me - told me that I was being very annoying, that he could hear my whole conversation and that I should go somewhere else. I apologised straight away and explained that I was struggling to get my airpods to connect. Anyway, flustered and feeling embarrassed as his whole table stared as me, I quickly swept up my work things, stuffed them in my bag and carried my laptop (with the man from India staring at me!) outside and sat on a bench to finish the last few minutes of my call.

After I’d finished, firstly relieved that my Facebook was sorted but feeling sick and shaking in the aftermath of the interaction I’d just had. I got up from the bench and started to walk towards my car to go home, feeling deflated. A few years ago I would probably have never gone back and would have cancelled my membership! 😳

Then something came over me and I thought, ‘Yes, I could possibly have been in the wrong but there was absolutely no reason why he should have spoken to me in that manner. How dare he!’ I started to get angry! If I’d have been having a meeting with a person in real life – would he have come barging over telling me he could hear our conversation? No, he wouldn’t have! I could hear all of his conversation with his golfing friends - would I have gone storming over to him like that, telling him to be quiet? No I bloody wouldn’t have! 😤

So I picked up my bag, with my head held high and marched back into the country club rehearsing what I was going to say. I was going to go back to the table where I was sitting which would have meant I would have had to have walked past his. I was going to say, ‘I understand that you felt annoyed by my call but it wasn’t intentional and I was doing everything I could to connect my headphones for the call I had that was only for 5 minutes. I didn’t appreciate the way you spoke to me.’

I was ready! 😎💪

How dare he!

I walked in, psyched up…..and he’d gone! After all the fuss he’d made, 5 minutes later he’d gone to play golf!

I was proud of myself though for going back in, with the intention of sticking up for myself. I told my mum on the way home and she was cross! She couldn’t understand why I didn’t say something to him there and then and basically tell him to mind his own business. I’m just not like that but it did make me reflect on my reaction. 🤔

In times of threat we will all have a certain pattern of behaviour that we fall back into. You’ve heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response. There are actually 5 threat responses – fight, flight, freeze, flop and friend. These are immediate, automatic and instinctive responses to fear. Whatever has worked for us before is what we unconsciously use in future times. My mum’s threat response is definitely ‘fight’. She said in those situations she would get angry in the moment and defend herself and then fall to pieces afterwards. My is definitely ‘friend’ – I would be super nice and apologetic to try and get them on my side and then ‘flight’!

🤔How would you have responded in that situation? 🤔

Our bodies are so clever. Our brain’s main job is to keep us alive. At the sniff of danger, a part of our brain called the Amygdala (which acts like a smoke detector, setting off the fire alarm) activates the threat response in our body by releasing the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. These raise our heart rate so that we can get more oxygen to our muscles, preparing us to fight or run. Our pupils dilate to help improve our vision. Our blood sugar rises to give us a boost in energy. We sometimes feel the need to empty our bowels which makes us lighter and more able to run or fight.

This temporary response was incredible helpful, especially in the caveman days where there were very real, physical threats but for a lot of us this state is triggered regularly by perceived psychological threats i.e. what people think, getting into trouble at work, deadlines etc. Our bodies are not designed to maintain this level of alertness, as too much of these chemicals can actually cause damage to our bodies.

One of the best ways to deactivate the threat response is by being aware of your breathing and slowing it right down, making the out breath longer than the in breath. This sends signals to your brain that there is no threat and allows it to go into ‘rest and digest’, meaning that all of your body’s systems can relax and work as normal. 🧘💨😊

If you haven’t yet watched ‘Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof’ then I highly recommend it! It is incredible how much fear we can overcome by controlling our breathing. When I did the ice bath challenge as part of one of the Tony Robbins events, Wim Hof taught us this breathing method to help prepare our bodies and minds. Here is the YouTube link to it….. (231) Wim Hof Method Guided Breathing for Beginners (3 Rounds Slow Pace) - YouTube. If you can control your breathing, you can control your mind. If you can control your mind, you can control your life.

I just wanted to remind you how flipping awesome you are and that no matter where you are, you do not have to put up with people speaking to you disrespectfully. Even if you don’t manage to deal with it in the moment, there is nothing stopping you from going back to that person a couple of days later and say something like, ‘It’s been on my mind for a few days - when you said …..x…… the other day, it made me feel ….x…..’. If you allow people to treat with you disrespect, you are basically giving them permission to do it again.

You are an adult who is worthy of respect. Do not stand for it!

Have a magical week, you beautiful people 🌈💜🎉

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