A long time ago I learned to be silent (or at least gracious!), in the face of insult or unfairness. Apparently this was thought to be good manners, and also had the added effect of not escalating an already unpleasant situation. In hindsight, it was not such a good lesson to learn. After all, how can a person grow up feeling deserving and authentic, if they’re always receiving and accepting insult or unfairness from others? The result of this habit was vulnerable at best, victimized at worst.
From the beginning, I’d been taught this: “Jesus always turned the other cheek.” (Not particularly helpful during grade school years.) A decade or so later, I overheard someone summing me up as, “the kind of girl who, if you slapped her, she’d say, ‘Oh! Did you hurt your hand?!’" That was the earnest beginning of reclaiming my true feelings, and the search for better ways than I’d been taught to handle difficult people. Don’t get the wrong idea – difficult people are still difficult, but a fraction of my earlier problem. I simply understand them (and myself) much better, now.
After learning many things from many masters, I developed my own sense of self-acceptance and self-empowerment. (A journey that never ends, I believe, if we keep desiring to grow.) And one of the best tools I’ve found came to me by accident – or should I say, "Spirit" handed me a wonderful teaching moment?
One day I received a co-worker’s "tongue-lashing," as we call it in the South. Not expecting to be on the receiving end of that kind of behavior shocked me into speechlessness - except for one, tiny child’s expression: “Ouch!”
Yes, I actually said, “Ouch!” to an angry grown-up, which totally confused them! My co-worker stopped their tirade long enough to scrutinize me anew, leaned in closer and asked, “What did you say?”
The power of this child-like expression of hurt and surprise arrested my colleague, and in the small silence – that holy instant, as A Course In Miracles (ACIM) puts it – I leapt into the deep of truth-telling; with that jump I’d committed myself to responding authentically. I now call this, “Blurt Power.”
Having entered the conversation with this blurt of “Ouch!”, I now have the space and the obligation to respond, to fully connect and join the conversation from my truth! Now I’m a "Blurter”, instead of a verbal punching bag. A truth-teller, not a victim. That one little “Ouch” gave me a tiny breath of time to wake up, and choose better than the pattern of passively absorbing the blow.
Once I said, “Ouch!,” it was like breaking a spell, and I could truthfully engage on my behalf. I could say things like, “Yes, I said ‘ouch!’ because that really stung me. I doubt you’re trying to do that, so let’s try it again. What can I do for you?” The result was predictably much better, for both of us!
I’ve used this technique many times since, and it’s never let me down. The feedback has been good from those who try it. (The ones who don’t protest it’s too childish a word for them, but not every technique is for everyone, is it?) Do you suffer from not being able to speak up for yourself? Why not give this little word a try? And of course, you’ll want to tap on that! I’ve included some of my tapping strategies below. Enjoy!
How To Tap Using "Blurt Power"
BEFORE. Before you go into a situation with a difficult person is a great time to tap with yourself, both your Intentions, fears, feelings doubt, etc. What do you say? Well, I teach my students to just "say what is so." If you know you can’t handle a specific personality well, have a habit of folding or flying off the handle, use that circumstance and habit in your tap, before you go in.
Even though I’m about to see ___, and that makes me feel ___, I do want to accept myself, even with all these old patterns that aren’t working for me anymore. I usually ___, and that makes me feel ___. I accept myself anyway.”
SURPRISE. Being caught by surprise is normal, for most of us. So it helps to have set an intention to change your pattern (at least with that person or kind of situation), and have tapped about this in preparation. Then the next time you are caught by ‘surprise’ you won’t be surprised! (And you’ll have it handled already!)
Even though I never know when ___ is going to pop up, I’m pretty sure that ____ will pop up! I’m pretty sure that I could try something new, something that might keep me feeling safer, and honest, too. What if I set an Intention to be present and authentic? What if that wasn’t very hard at all?
Even though I usually ___ whenever that ____ happens, I can see this strategy is starting to make me feel ____. Maybe I could find something new to try. Is it possible I can tell my truth in a wholly acceptable way, one that acknowledges who I am, how I feel, and a better way to experience upsetting surprises? Is it possible I could just blurt out, “Ouch!” the next time that happens? I’m willing to accept myself, either way, and this one little word might just help me do that!
or, Even though I haven’t tried out a new habit in a while, maybe before I get surprised again is a good time to try one! I wonder how that would feel, being prepared, or authentic and sturdy, would feel, instead? What if I could just use one little word to get me started? Heck, it’s just one little word…I can do that!
Try Some Role Play
Imagine an old situation, one where you were tongue-tied or too shocked to respond. See yourself in great detail; check out your surroundings, who else was there, what you were wearing, or the look on your face, the look on their face, the way your body felt at the biggest drama peak in the memory...
Now, imagine this scene again, but this time, watch the person talking, but notice how you feel differently, because you’re prepared this time – you know what happen in the memory! Knowing that, you can now feel yourself relax; imagine yourself responding to the person by saying, “Ouch!” Notice how your body is responding when you see yourself saying that in the memory - how your face, mouth or skin feels, maybe you also can detect this in your stomach or throat.
Next, allow yourself to continue talking your truth, telling the person how you feel about their actions. Try out several different versions until you have one that feels right. For instance, “When you bring a problem to my attention, it’s a lot easier for me to take action when it’s not so personal”, or, “Yelling shuts me down, and then I can’t help you.” The goal is to be authentic, specific and mindful of how everyone can get their needs met, using a more comfortable and productive communication style.
Give it a try, you never know. And your surprises don’t have to be bad ones. My name’s Jondi Whitis, and I approved this message!
Jondi Whitis is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer of Trainers and Advanced Practitioner based in Brooklyn, New York. An educator at heart, she is one of the voices of EFT Radio Online and co-founder of Tapfest.com and TappingStar.com. Jondi also offers mentoring for EFT certification. Find out more about Jondi and her services at www.eft4results.com.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International International.
Originally published on September 30, 2012.