Sometimes we get separated from people after loss, grief, distance or time. You may be seeing people again for the first time in person at work again.
Whatever the reason for the separation, it doesn’t have to be awkward to come back together again. It can be a beautiful thing.
In this episode, you’ll learn how to reconnect with the people around you.
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Music provided by ZingDog / Pond5
Photo by Unsplash
Welcome. I’m so happy you’re here. Uh, I am down in my office. Excited to be recording for you. I’ve got my little dog here.
My family is out and about doing things, and he is here nervously staying with me. So if you hear any jingling in the background, that is my dog Chewy short for Chewbacca. I am taking clients for this fall. I have spots open. I’m getting my schedule all put together. So if you’ve been thinking about coaching, now is the best time to do it.
I also have some really exciting cards coming out now. This is a deck, like a physical deck of cards that you can hold in your hand and each card is made with a beautiful thought, a challenge, an affirmation for your day. All of my best stuff I put into this card deck, and I know you’re gonna love it. It is so pretty.
Keep listening and watching. If you’re not following me on Instagram, get over there. It’s at amy dot Smooth Stones Coaching. That’s where I am. You can dmm me, you can follow me. Um, we’re having a good time over there. Definitely watch out for those cards. I can’t wait. I’m just trying to do all the technical things that you have to do when you’re trying to sell a product.
And I normally sell coaching, which I’m really good at doing that. Um, but selling something that like goes in the mail and all of that takes a little bit to set up. So just keep watching for that. All right. Today I’m continuing this theme that I’ve been doing about reentry and. I wanna talk about relationships.
Sometimes you may have been separated from people in your life by physical distance or by emotional distance. Perhaps after grieving, you are ready to get back to the people you couldn’t relate to or handle while your heart was really raw. Or maybe you’re even seeing people day in and day out. But you’ve been feeling disconnected from them and you want to come together again.
I know as a mom of teenagers, you sometimes really have to make an effort to come back to your relationships over and over as many times as it takes. I wanna share a pretty common scenario that I see, and I know that it can be very painful. Where the people around us don’t act how we wish they would.
And here’s an example that I kind of put together from some different things, um, that I’ve heard and I’ve read, and this is something that happened during the pandemic. So this person said, I’m a teacher and a fellow coworker who I thought used to be my friend, is our team leader. She ran a Zoom meeting with her baby cooing, and she lost it.
She turned the Zoom camera off and cried. Then sent the principal an email and she says, I need to protect my heart, because her baby would’ve been born very soon and she might’ve had her baby. And so this baby on Zoom really reminded her of that. She goes on to say, I really hate people’s disrespect, and I even sent her a nice text message about how much it hurts.
She was very angry and sad and kind of felt a little bit violent towards this person, and now she hasn’t heard back from The principal doesn’t know where that’s at. She says, I get that we’re all in a bad situation. My husband stays home with our three-year-old. We make sacrifices and she needs to hire a babysitter if she doesn’t wanna send her baby to daycare.
Now, this is kind of a situation that obviously someone was really upset. This happens in a lot of different ways, so I want you to think about yourself, like have you ever had something like this happen? Someone does something or says something, and it kind of just sets off this cascade of emotions.
Especially, like I said, if it’s near a due date or something else, it just has those emotions already riding high. So if you’ve been listening to my podcast for a while, I want you to look at this story. See if you can see what’s happening here, because sometimes it’s really easier to see in other people.
Actually, most of the time it’s easier to see it in other people than ourselves. We’re a little too close to our own brains, right? So first, let’s put what happened into a model. Now, if you aren’t familiar with the model, go back to one of my early episodes called How to Coach Yourself, and it explains everything.
But basically we’re gonna look at the facts and the thoughts of this situation. So the circumstance is a baby was making sounds during a team meeting on Zoom, and then the person in the story had a lot of thoughts. Like I thought she was my friend. She should not have had her baby on the meeting. She has to make sacrifices.
She’s disrespecting me and someone needs to do something about this. I think the most painful thought I can see is that this team leader should have known how having a baby on the call would affect her and made sure not to trigger her. She’s feeling a lot of anger, not because of the baby, not because of what she heard, but because of the way she’s thinking about the team leader, and this is such an important thing to notice, and it’s where we get all our power back.
So what happens next and how she shows up is she’s angry. She shuts off Zoom, she texts a person, emails the principal kind of vents, and she’s really judging this person. And her result is that she’s blaming all her emotions on this other mom and she’s stuck. The only way to feel better is to go back in time and to make all the people behave exactly as she thinks they should.
Now, can you see how it’s impossible? And I don’t want anyone listening who has gone through something really similar to this to judge yourself. There’s no need for that. Just like we don’t judge this mom. First of all, because we have to be so gentle with ourselves and others when we’re grieving. The truth here is that she’s sad about her baby dying, but it comes out as anger against this woman and her cute little baby.
Plus, we are taught from a young age that people can hurt our feelings, but it’s not true. Nobody has the power to control our emotions. Viktor Frankl said as he reflected on his time in a concentration camp, everything can be taken from a man. But one thing, the last of the human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
And here’s the thing, this sweet lady is likely going to have to speak to her team leader again, and also to her boss, and she may even encounter this baby again. Just like you’ll need to speak to friends, family, and coworkers who may have said or done things or you haven’t seen for a while, who may not know what you went through while you were working from home, who you may not have had to see in person.
You’re probably sitting there thinking right now. Yes, Amy, tell me what to do. I’m sick of feeling like crap. Anytime I think about seeing this certain person. Oh, there’s my doggy. That’s okay. I’m gonna tell you everything you need to know. The first huge step is to recognize that you always have a choice.
You do not have to keep people in your life. You do not have to talk to them ever again. You could move to outer Mongolia and live in a yurt by yourself with only a yak to keep you company. But I’m guessing that you don’t wanna do that. But it’s something that many of us also have been taught to do. If you aren’t happy, just change your circumstance.
It isn’t super effective, especially in relationships. If things are bad and we cut someone out, we still have all our thoughts about that person, and we still feel terrible except now we miss them or now we miss our job, right? We miss our paycheck, whatever it is that we changed, we miss our home. We miss our neighborhood if we moved.
So you always have a choice, and if you choose to keep the relationship. Then why not make it better? Because you are the one who feels all the emotions. A lot of times people will say, I can’t stand so-and-so. But what you really can’t stand is yourself When you are around them, you are not the person you want to be.
You brain is full of painful thoughts and it feels terrible. Now, of course this does not apply to abusive situations. You never have to stay near anyone who legitimately is hurting you in any way. You can absolutely leave that circumstance and feel confident about it. If you are in a situation like that and you’re listening to me right now, go get help.
But if you’ve decided that this isn’t abuse and you don’t wanna cut this person out of your life, Or maybe you can’t, like they’re just someone who’s always gonna be there. Then the next step is to really look at what’s going on in an an objective way. Pretend that your life is a movie and everyone is a character.
Just be an observer. What is different when you take some of the meaning that we’ve added to it out? Going back to that example from before, can you see how the baby being at the meeting had really nothing to do with our sad mama? We honestly have no idea why baby was there. But I’m guessing that this mom had no other choice but to bring her right, and we don’t know what she was thinking.
Maybe she did care. Maybe she recognized that this might. Affect someone else, but maybe, and maybe she was totally oblivious, but I highly doubt that she purposely brought a baby in to work to upset her coworker, right? We just have to be onto our brain because that’s the story that we’re being sold sometimes because we as humans are just so self-centered and we just think, why would they do that to me?
What if they’re not doing it to you? What if it’s just completely independent of you? And that person is really focused on their own self, just like you’re focused on your own self. And it’s okay that we all do that. And let’s just even say, what if this lady brought the baby in on purpose to try to get a reaction out of her team member?
So what You still get to think whatever you want about it. Because when you manage your own thoughts and emotions, you are the one who gets to feel them. So the next time there’s a meeting or a conversation with this coworker or the boss, she’s gotta say, how do I want to feel? The baby was there, the angry email and the text went out.
And now what? She’ll probably wanna take some time to feel her feelings. Don’t do anything to try to feel better. We have to feel bad to feel better. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. So if you have a situation similar to this and you’re feeling shame or anger or embarrassment or frustration, just feel it.
Get in your body, let it flow through you. Let the tears fall down. It’s okay. It may have been some time since maybe you’ve seen someone who you were upset with and you feel kind of numb about this person. That’s okay too. The feelings are probably still there. They tend to just hide out, um, until we see the person again or until we address them.
So I would really recommend that you write down what happened and how you felt, and just get it all out on paper. Don’t edit it, don’t judge it, and you can burn it when you’re done. But once you’ve processed through some of these emotions, Don’t forget, this may take more than one time. If you’ve been upset for a while, then how do you put this back together and fix these relationships?
Our relationship is just the thoughts we think about someone. So the cool part is we don’t have to do anything. The person doesn’t even have to know that any of this is happening. There’s no quote unquote, we need to talk situations necessary. Unless you really wanna do that, but in my experience, any conversation that starts with we need to talk doesn’t usually end well.
I love Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. She might even be part of the reason I chose a name Lauren for my daughter. She seems smart, funny, and kind. She seems like a lot of fun and I think we’d get along if I could only get over my awkwardness if I ever met her. I have a relationship with her based on my thoughts, even though we’ve never met and probably never will.
I’m sure some of it is even based on fictional characters that she played, that I just expect that she’s like, isn’t it funny how we do that with celebrities? But you can also do it with people that you know. Yes, you can just choose how you think about them. You can just make it up because most of the time we are anyway, we are filtering these people through our own lens.
So instead of using a lens that says they drive me crazy, or they’re always judging me, get out of their brain and get into yours and be curious. How do you want to feel about them? When you think about them or when you’re near them, when they do and say things, how do you want to feel? Something that can really help is to choose love.
Love feels the best. I love, love. Did you know that you can love anyone? It’s true. Some women love serial killers in jail and they marry them, but I hope you won’t do that. I do hope you’ll try loving the people in your life and when they forget your baby’s birthday or they gossip, or they don’t pull their weight on a project, just love them extra and let them be human.
Humans are messy and they make lots of mistakes, and that’s okay. You probably hope for some grace when you mess up too. Another situation that can happen is the people who seem to disappear after a loss. They don’t know what to say, so they say nothing. They don’t reach out in meaningful ways. On meaningful days.
They don’t ever mention your baby. You feel abandoned, so you stop talking to them, and a lot of people would say, you have every right to do that. But here’s what I wanna show you. If we put this in a model, our circumstances, maybe Sally has not called for 12 days. And your thought is she doesn’t care about me and you feel hurt, so you stop calling her or responding to texts.
You avoid her and your result is that you don’t really care about Sally. When you think someone ghosted you after loss, that they don’t understand what you’re going through and that they don’t show up how you think they should, you end up ghosting them. You don’t even try to understand your friend. You don’t show up as a good friend because you’re full of judgment in a huge manual of how people should act.
You create a disconnect with your thoughts and with your feelings and with your actions, and now you’re sad and you’ve lost a friend, not because of what they did or didn’t do, but because of the way you are thinking about them. And that is the truth. I know it’s hard to hear sometimes, but this is how the model works in our life.
We create what we think and if we aren’t paying attention, we create exactly what we don’t want. And I get it because I’ve been there. But what helped me preserve my relationships was this thought they are doing the best they know how. I found support in other ways. It’s that simple. Sometimes it doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially if you haven’t practiced this before, but that little thought saved a lot of relationships for me, and my life is better because I chose it and I chose those people.
Yes, it would be awesome if the people closest to us acted exactly how we want them to. It would be so easy to love and appreciate them, but really loving the people who are hard to love is one of the best skills you can ever learn. It’s going to bless your life so much. I believe that’s one of the reasons we’re all here on this earth.
To learn how to love others and to love ourselves. You might not be believing this is possible, but I want to end with a challenge. Think of someone you don’t enjoy being around right now, who you are going to see in the next week or two. Start thinking about them. What’s cool about them? What’s a good memory you have with them?
How have they shown up for you in the past? Instead of looking for the reasons you don’t love them, find all the reasons you do. Your brain has gotten used to focusing on negativity towards them. Give it the job of finding good things. Cut them some slack and see what changes for you. You can’t control other people as much as we would like to, but you can change the way you are thinking and it’s actually kind of fun.
It doesn’t have to be awkward. Reentering these relationships. You guys, you can do this. You don’t have to have a big talk. You don’t even have to address what’s happened in the past if you don’t want to. You just gotta choose to love them and decide how you want to show up around them and then do that.
I want you to try it now. These are some of the skills I teach you in my three month program, the Path to True Joy. You’ll become an emotional expert and learn how to have amazing relationships among so many other things that I teach you. You gotta get in there. Go to the link in the show notes and sign up for a consult call.
I can’t wait to meet you. Have a great week. We’ll see you next time.