In bodywork, it is extremely important to maintain compassionate detachment from our clients. We need to be able to accept another person exactly as they are, hear their story, understand their wants, and discern their needs all without forming a personal stake in the treatment outcome.
In other words, we have to be comfortable with other people's discomfort.
Our country is at a boiling point for a long stifled crisis. And this concept - being comfortable in the uncomfortable - is becoming nationally relevant. In internet forums and the baseless bravery of keyboard anonymity amplifies our need to be able to operate in this space. Simultaneously, it illustrates exactly how limited our skills in this area are.
Personal kinks/hiccups, biases, experiences, traumas, denials, and dissonance can all create walls that inhibit our best selves from showing up in a conversation or action. These are defense mechanisms and compensation patterns that exist to both protect you and highlight areas of focus for your own healing. You can identify this internal signaling by noticing when you
~Want your ideas, opinions, and insights to change another person's thinking
~Do not hear the other person's story or points - i.e. listening to reply or interrupting
~Feel uncomfortable/disbelief/rejection when listening to another's experiences
~Feel personally attacked by a neutral statement or retelling of an event not involving you
~Say or do things with the goal of making the other person feel differently - i.e. better or bad for you instead
(As a side note, we can also react this way to others' "good" experiences when we are subconsciously jealous.)
One of the best ways to combat this tendency is to come back into your body center, breathe, and ground. In this space, you can then begin the work of integrating your own experiences in ways that honor what you have been through without those events defining you, and releasing stagnant energies that may have you running on an outdated loop.
If you are ready to do that work, hit me up! Or tag someone who has been looking for a guide :-)