I received a call from a very dear friend yesterday. It was the most amazing call I have received in a very long time. On the other end of the phone was a very sad and unhappy woman. Her bucket was empty. The amazing part (that I was very quick to share with her) was that she was calling because she knew that I was one person that could help her turn her mood around. She explained how she was feeling, what she needed and we proceeded with the conversation from there. I am so proud of her and I hope she’s smiling as she reads this!
We’ve all been there. A friend, a family member or someone close to us is feeling hurt, angry, ashamed, insulted, etc. and their reactive response is often to lash out and hurt you as well.
We have this thought that if someone is close to us, loves us or cares deeply for us, they will be there unconditionally. That is often the truth. However, why does it have to be that way? I’m willing to bet that many people are kinder to a stranger when they’re hurting inside than they are to a close friend, family, or colleague! I’m not suggesting that we hurt anyone, but if we’re going to control our reactive behaviour when our buckets are low…lead by example…and make the choice to fill our bucket, why don’t we start with the people we value the most??
Amanda Lindhout said it best when she stated, “Hurt people, hurt people.” It’s so very true, but my goal is to diffuse and break the cycle of hurt. Our loved ones and the most important people in our lives deserve better than that, and that’s the exact place I would like us to begin.
So how do we start and how do we follow through? It all starts within. It goes back to our discussion on mindfulness. When we identify and acknowledge how we’re feeling with ourselves, we then can make a choice to be mindful of our words and behaviours. It is in this moment that we can choose the words "I'm struggling and I need some help". I dare you to try that line on anyone and see if they respond with a “no, sorry, I can’t help you”.
The power of that statement and the value that it carries to both you and the receiver is incredible. l'm struggling and I need some help. That is a powerful leadership statement! It’s a measure of one’s ability to be self-aware and understand when you just can’t do it on your own. It instantly takes both parties to a place of compassion, impact and unbelievable value and together you will both win. Whether you solve the issue or dilemma is absolutely irrelevant. A deeper value is invested in the relationship and both buckets begin to replenish. Promise!
Step 1: Find a manner in which you can begin to actively and consistently monitor your bucket.
Step 2: Recognize and acknowledge to yourself when your bucket is low.
Step 3: Choose to use the statement “I am struggling right now and I would really benefit from some help.”
For a more in-depth approach at bridging this gap, from being motivated to breaking the hurt cycle and creating positive daily habits, email Monica!