Sometimes it can be hard to tell if there is something off with our friends, partners, work relationships, etc. Here are some check-in tips to find out.
NOTE HOW THEY ACT AROUND YOU
Are you being ignored, gossiping about you, being mean, putting you down, breaking promises to you, implying that you are somehow lacking?
CONSIDER HOW YOU ARE FEELING
Do you feel picked on? Do you feel like you are being provoked? Do you feel undermined, feel negative around them, hurt, demeaned?
WORK THROUGH SOME POSSIBILITIES BEFORE REACHING YOUR CONCLUSION
Our own feelings only tell part of the story and sometimes we can get them very wrong because we have not understood things from the other persons’ perspective. You may be convinced that the actions or words of the person are mean-spirited in intent and outcome. It is important however to look at some possible motivations or causes for their behavior. This could give you a better idea of what their motive is. Sometimes people are unintentionally hurtful or have been thoughtless without purposefully being mean. Whatever the act or comment, there is ALWAYS an underlying cause which is good to understand before you take action against the person. Ask yourself the following (be honest).
Could it be my imagination? If you are in a bad space it can seem that people are angry, mean, insensitive and selfish.
- Could they be jealous? Are they building themselves up while bringing you down? They could be insecure.
- By accident did you insult them? Passive aggressive anger instead of confrontation.
- Could they have troubles of their own? They may not know or feel comfortable reaching out so they take their frustrations out on others.
- Could they just dislike me? (the reasons do not necessarily matter)
Why do I need validation from them? Do you need them? Is it okay if someone does not like me? Am I just being needy and insecure?
Get the opinions of others, someone who is removed from the relationship.
CONFRONT THE PERSON
- When confronting someone regarding their behavior, it is important to
- Use the following tools:
- Use “I” statements (“I feel”, “I think”)
- Avoid putting the person on the defensive
- Allow for a constructive conversation
- Stay calm, if anger is present, walk away
- It is okay if the person does not have an answer. Leave the ball in their court
- Do not be mean
Before entering into any conversation of this nature, be prepared for any outcome. Do not go in with an unknown expectation. Be clear with them and yourself.