Open for Comments; How to Not Stress Over What Others Think
I keep my website blog open for comments because I love getting nice, joyful messages telling me how awesome you think me and my writing are and how it inspires you. And also because differing ideas and suggestions about my blog topic can enrich it for the next reader.
Once in a while a troll shows up.
And that’s why I approve all comments before they’re published. Except here on Medium where we can’t do that.
It’s also why some folks don’t open their blogs to comments at all. I’m sure they feel much safer knowing they can freely express without fear of negative feedback or criticism. I dabbled with that idea once upon a time. The “Approval First” route took care of that though, even though it’s a little more work.
I think being open to all comments is a stage of evolution where you just don’t give a fuck what others think, to the point of not taking any judgements personally and/or not feeling triggered when it happens.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
I know some of you are there already and are sitting pretty in that feeling of no-fucks-left-to-give.
What about those of us who still get triggered when we receive judgments that are negative, or even mean, feeling the pang of shame rise from our gut to our face?
How do we evolve into the being we crave that’s able to read or listen to negative feedback, or even mean feedback and understand it’s never, ever personal. That it’s actually so many other things rather than personal?
I’m interested and getting way better at it.
At this point very few comments trigger me, but if I’m honest I’ll admit once in a while when someone has an opposite opinion and that makes me feel wrong or stupid, the pang in my gut in combination with the flush in my face will remind me shame still lurks in the crevices of my heart and isn’t fully detoxed yet.
The shame trigger is real and a little bit evil.
There are some people who are better at creating that than others. Can you think about when it happens to you?
With awareness, we have a choice to think, believe and act in a better, healthier way.
And that’s the tool I want to talk about now, as it relates to no longer giving a fuck about what others think or say about me.
It’s a practice that’s helped me desensitize myself to negative feedback so that it’s not always triggering the shame as such an intense visceral hit to my body.
I believe this awareness is badass, meaning you’ll need to develop it, and create a discipline or practice of it. It takes perseverance and a bit of determination, as well as courage and an ability to feel and tolerate feeling vulnerable, but knowing how to move yourself to a state of peace, calm, and relaxation quickly.
I practice tools that have helped me do this. Here they are:
1. Know the details of what triggers you (Who, what, how, when, where)
When you start understanding the trigger in all it’s gory details and recognize the inner critic thoughts that go along with the chest tightness or sick-to-your-stomach feeling, you are a step ahead and on your way to the awareness that will make a difference for future rounds. So instead of running in the other direction, get curious and detached. Ask more questions. Get to know the feelings and sensations. Recognize the habitual way you go about reacting to the triggers. Watch yourself like you’re watching a movie.
2. Practice awareness of the feelings and thoughts associated with the trigger. Notice your habits.
This piece of knowing the trigger is important. What are the physical sensations? Describe them. Where are they in your body and what do they feel like? What are the actual thoughts you have? And what are you making those messages mean? Curiosity and inquiry is key here, as is massive self-compassion.
3. Write everything out. Journal everything in detail, until you have nothing left to write about it.
This is so that you can up level the awareness. When it’s out of you you clear some space for something better to take its place. So move the ideas, thoughts, reflections, aha’s to the page, where you can read, look at, be curious about and assess them.
4. Call out the shame as fast as possible by speaking it out loud to someone
This works faster than almost anything I’ve done and is sometimes the hardest to do. When you call out the shame, it can feel embarrassing. However, if you can call it out, out loud, to someone you love and trust, you’ll find the shame dissolves almost as immediately as the words leave your lips.
5. Flip your switch to something that serves you better as fast as you can and focus there.
Here’s where you choose something else that’s better, healthier and more aligned with who you are and want to be to think, believe and do. Your awareness will be the key here. You notice how you feel and what you think, you write it down or call it out, and then you choose a better thought or action to practice. You shift the energy to something that feels good. I use gratitude and love lists for this purpose, as well as actions that my future self would thank me for. Basically I remember my purpose and aim there.
I find myself practicing these steps in different order depending on the circumstances. They all have to do with awareness. So I call a friend when I need to. I take out my journal when I need to. I notice my body and my thoughts (daily practice). And I’ve become a master at knowing when, why and how something triggers me. I’ve decided to be brave about calling it out, out loud, when it happens, with people I trust, so it doesn’t live inside me and create rot and pain.
And one last tip that is the bomb when it comes to not caring what others think: Surround yourself with people who love you, who you do care about, and whose opinions you trust, value and respect. Stick with the ones who uplift you on a regular basis and unapologetically leave the rest.
Want more resources? I got you. Join the Brave Healer Revolution at www.BraveHealer.com
Laura Di Franco, MPT is the owner of Brave Healer Productions and a powerhouse who writes to Feng Shui her soul. She’s a 6-time published poet and author, inspirational speaker, holistic physical therapist and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. She was born to build a revolution of brave healers who are getting their badass, authentic voices published in order to heal the world with their words. Her new book, Brave Healing, a Guide for Your Journey, is now on Amazon!