Burnout Recovery

Ep115 When You Feel Disrespected

March 07, 2024 Dex Randall Season 2 Episode 115
Burnout Recovery
Ep115 When You Feel Disrespected
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

One of the most common indicators of burnout is feeling disrespected. 

We tend to feel unacknowledged, under-valued, unsupported and used. Which we naturally don't appreciate when we're also giving our all as highly skilled and over-worked professionals.

So, this week here are my top 4 tips to handle the oversized emotional trigger of feeling disrespected and put yourself back in the driver's seat.

Learn how to maintain control over your internal reactions, reframe the situation to your advantage, practice self-acceptance, feel your emotions fully, and depersonalize the incident/s.

Show Notes:
Ep#32 5 steps to manage shame
Ep#35 Taking your power back
Ep#95 Mastering your Emotions

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[00:00:00] Hi everyone, my name's Dex Randall, and this is the Burnout to Leadership podcast, where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work.

[00:00:22] Okay, campers. Hello, all of you. This is Dex. Welcome to the podcast. And this week, we're going to be talking about when you feel somebody is disrespecting you. And I use an example from one of my clients who had a bit of a business clash. I'm going to walk you through that. And as we go through the example, listen and learn, because this is tip number one in dealing with disrespect, the absolute killer of the emotional disturbance of received disrespect, this one.

[00:00:55] So listening right from the get go, I'm going to talk about this example, because I think it's pretty typical of the way that we might respond when we feel disrespected and how we can work skillfully with that. So anyway, my client's on a call with me and he said that one of his students' parents were a month late on their final payment of his service fee, and he thought F them.

[00:01:21] That was his response to that, and he felt disrespected. And because of that, he chose not to edit that student's essays. But then, when we look closely at that together, his choice of action didn't produce the result that he wanted. In fact, it actually worsened his relationship with the parents and the student, rather than making him feel better or solving the non payment problem.

[00:01:47] So double bad outcome for the client. Not unusual when we react to a bit of disrespect. And of course, from that point, there was no resolution to any of this in sight. He was in this spiral of rage and resentment. By the way, who was suffering that rage? It was my client, not the people who didn't pay the invoice, right?

[00:02:08] And the resentment, same again, it was him. So there's something about this spiral we can get into in disrespect. That's not really doing us any favors typically. And from that place where he was full of rage and resentment, it's pretty likely that if he had communicated with any of those people, he would have pissed them off a little bit further, right?

[00:02:30] He was so angry with what he understood as the disrespect in those people not paying their bill, that he just, he really couldn't see out at that time when I spoke with him. So yes, he's made this bad client relationship with the student and parents. What I actually teach my clients to do is to really see through their own reactions clearly, their own thoughts, their beliefs, their emotions, their actions, when disrespect comes up so that they don't even make the situation worse than it is.

[00:03:04] And then I teach them to think a little bit more broadly, more constructively, in a way, and this is aligned with cognitive behavior therapy, In a way that helps them feel better and creates better outcomes for them. It's a very practical and solution focused approach that I really recommend because it helps you resolve these difficulties right in the moment.

[00:03:26] So typically if somebody is disrespected on us, we might chew on it and we might still be suffering and mulling it over days or even weeks later. But that's to our detriment. It doesn't make us feel good doing that and it doesn't resolve anything. It just makes us feel terrible for a bit longer. So what I'm going to talk to you about here is.

[00:03:46] How to resolve that inner turmoil a lot more quickly so that you can reduce your own suffering and head towards solving the original problem. So it's much more constructive than dwelling on it and sitting in resentful and revengeful mode. And for those of you who are listening who are familiar with the self coaching model, I'm going to give you some advanced modeling skills here.

[00:04:11] And for those of you who aren't, don't worry, I'm going to talk you through it. So here's what I did with my client. I asked him to find a response, in other words, a thought, that he could have about the situation that would give him a bit more power. So it's pretty hard to do that from rage. So what we do , if we're in rage or a very strong negative emotion, what we're looking for here is just to move away from that a little bit.

[00:04:39] A little bit away from "F them" and disrespect to something that makes us feel a little less bad. So we're looking for an intermediate or bridging thought that heads slightly in the direction of a solution to the problem and a solution to feeling the rage, resentment, disrespect. So what my client came up with, that was a little bit of a move towards a solution, is this thought, that "Actually,

[00:05:05] I have the power to edit the essays or not", and then I feel confident when I think about them. So you can see what he did is he pulled himself back a bit from rage towards confidence. Amazing! Just like that, he did that. So he's turned down his emotional volume. That's just a self coaching technique I taught him to de escalate his own tension and negativity.

[00:05:32] And it's a tool I teach all my clients to bring them back to at least a neutral emotion so that they calm themselves enough to regain analytical, rational thinking and approach solving the problem. Because when we go into ego reactivity, in the tantrum zone, if you like, problem solving is temporarily unavailable because rational thought is offline at that moment.

[00:05:59] So what we're aiming to get ourselves back to is that rational thought, that emotional adulthood. When we're in rage and resentment and tantrum and, reacting to this disrespect, we're in a childhood. emotional state. So what we do is we try and bring ourselves out of the rage, out of the resentment, out of the puffy stuff and then we self coach a little bit more to depersonalize disrespect that we think we have received, because that also turns down the emotional temperature.

[00:06:32] So I asked my client, okay, once he felt a little bit calmer, a little bit more in control, I asked him what he would need to think to resolve this problem from an adult or business perspective. As a businessman. His student's parents are still one month late in their final payment. They didn't pay it.

[00:06:51] Nothing changed there. But realizing now that he really doesn't know why. He doesn't know why the payments are a month late. He doesn't know why they didn't pay him. It might not be disrespect on their part. He starts to see that now. So what he's done is he's depersonalized in that moment their non payment by opening his thinking about it.

[00:07:15] And so he doesn't feel so disrespected anymore. Big bonus for him. Now he's beginning to think like a businessman. And so I encourage him to go a little bit further. Okay. What would you really think next if you wanted to solve this problem altogether from a business perspective? He said I suppose what I would think about it is that their inability to pay me is not my problem.

[00:07:38] I said how'd you feel when you think that? He said, neutral. Then he decided to adopt that thought and he decided he was just going to send them a standard invoice reminder, and if the invoice remained unpaid 24 hours before his next meeting with that student, he would cancel the meeting and re approach the payment issue.

[00:07:59] And I said, okay, what result does that give to you? And he said it holds me firm to my business standards, my published business standards. And he could then remain calm and a little bit detached, from the result. It was less emotionally impacting on him. Now it's just a business result or a business process.

[00:08:19] So just those couple of little shifts that he made there took him to really different territory. From feeling disrespected and having the consequent turmoil of emotions that went with that. So I would encourage you to give this a go, try this method. It's essentially finding a new thought to think about what's happened or a new interpretation of what happened that prevents you from becoming very upset.

[00:08:48] And it leaves you access to a workable solution. So if you try it, To do what I've just described. And you get stuck in trying to get to calmness. You can't become calm enough to find a new thought or a new way of looking at things. You're still stuck in this kind of endless loop of upset with whatever the person's done.

[00:09:09] So what I would do then is if you get stuck in that negativity, really try to pretend you don't know anything about it, right? Pretend you know nothing. You don't know the person. You don't know the situation. You don't know anything. And then become intensely curious. about your thought about being disrespected, or maybe you have many thoughts about being disrespected, about that person's behavior, about how that person thinks about you and all of that.

[00:09:37] But how might you be wrong? How might your thinking be inaccurate and not serving you? So this is like my client. He was determined to believe that the parents weren't paying because they didn't respect him enough to pay. Who knows? That may be true, but chances are it actually isn't. So ask yourself, if this is happening for you and you get stuck in the resentment and the negativity, ask yourself, what other explanations could there be?

[00:10:09] What underlying problems, for example, could the other person be experiencing that's causing this behavior? Or might there be causes that are unknown to me? Or might it not be about me at all? Because if you abandon everything you think you know about what's happening and why, about how you quote, unquote, "expect" the other person to behave.

[00:10:33] Which will always sound in your mind like "They always do such and such a thing", or "They always whatever", it's gonna have always in there probably and then also detach what you know, inverted commas, they're thinking about you, which is gonna sound in your mind like "They think they're better than me" or whatever.

[00:10:54] So just listen out for those thoughts. They're always and never type of thinking. You have to call out and question everything you think you know because what you think is true here is just your habitual thinking. It's your reality inside your head. It's not the other person's truth at all.

[00:11:16] They're running by a different set of thoughts and a different set of beliefs and a different set of values. So simply ask yourself, what else could be true? What else is possible here? Because that might open the door to you being able to find what we call a bridging thought, one that moves you away a little bit from the suffering towards a more neutral feeling.

[00:11:39] And then that opens the door for a more productive thought as your temper calms down, your temperature comes down, and your full rational powers return. And that might be a multi step process. You might have this original, very resentful and upset thought, then you might go to a slightly more neutral thought, an even more neutral thought, a very slightly positive thought as you open your curiosity up to what might be happening, and so on until you get to a really positive thought where you're feeling powerful and not disrespected at all.

[00:12:13] So it might be a multi step process, go really gently with yourself here, don't judge or criticize yourself while you're doing this. If you're struggling to get thoughts and new feelings, don't worry, just give yourself a little bit of time. Don't beat yourself up. Let it come little by little. It's a very powerful process, but it might take a little bit of getting used to because probably it's not how things have been with you in the past.

[00:12:38] Most of us are used to jumping into resentment. Don't stop to consider whether we're right or not. So this will be new for you. So just give yourself a chance. Yeah. And then once you do find a more neutralizing thought, emotionally neutralizing, then keep going. Keep trying for more thoughts. See which one works the best for you.

[00:12:59] And then you bridge up through a neutral thought. Towards a more positive thought, or if you've had a really intense emotional reaction, you can ladder up through many new thoughts, right? Four, five, six, seven, doesn't matter how many, as long as they're helping you out a little. So each one brings your emotional reactivity down a little bit more than the last one did.

[00:13:23] So cast around for thoughts that really support. You're reducing your emotional turmoil. And we call that laddering. And laddering slightly increments your thought and your feeling in a positive direction each time. And because disrespect is a major trigger for unhappiness and rampant reactivity in most of us, affecting as it does our sense of self, our social status, our image and our childlike emotions.

[00:13:52] And hence, Our ego, and then once we've had our ego pinged by somebody, once our ego is enraged, then it's on for young and old, as they say around here in Australia. Google it if you've never seen it before. Or, I don't know why I thought of this, but if you're a bit old and salty like me, and a real fan of that understated English way of putting things, that sadly seems to have disappeared somewhat these days, you might remember fireworks as a kid, where the label on the fireworks said "Light the blue touch paper and retire immediately."

[00:14:27] I think what they meant is before your mittens caught fire. But anyway, I think you know what I'm saying. We need to turn down the volume on all the negativity that we're feeling. If that was helpful, listen to this again. Run through the instructions and the example again, and see if you can apply what you're hearing there to a situation where you feel disrespected.

[00:14:50] See if you can practice finding some response inside you that brings you to a better, calmer place. So that was tip number one on disrespect. Reframe how you understand what happened until basically you're no longer bothered by it. That's the destination. And in summary, you might've noticed that, our most impressive reactivity almost always comes from our ego protective mechanism.

[00:15:21] It brings out this helpless, emotional child in us. We lose composure, I think is a polite way of putting it. And it certainly has given me quite some uncomfortable moments in my time, I have quite the back catalogue of toddler tantrums in adulthood, to my horror sometimes. But what I've learnt now is a bunch of these tools like I'm giving you today, which defuse, they're defusion strategies for any time I feel disrespected or the sense of disrespect comes up in me and I feel that ego reaction coming on.

[00:15:57] When your ego flares up Learning at minimum damage control is very helpful, but even more, not needing to react in the first place will allow you a great deal more comfort and serenity. You're going to be able to hang on to your rational sense of perspective, your critical faculties, solution thinking, possibly your sense of humor, and then you'll be able to take other people and whatever they're getting up to

[00:16:29] with a grain of salt. That's really what we're trying for. And if you are able to do that, when you practice and practice diffusing this disrespect cycle, you're gonna feel quite a bit safer moving through your daily life. And that's a terrific resilience habit to form when other people appear to be disrespecting you.

[00:16:51] And all your analytical skills go overboard as your most emotional defense system kicks in, it's good to have this habit in your back pocket , to bring it back into range again. But at least some of this kind of diffusion of disrespect is down to self acceptance. We will naturally feel triggered when anyone aims an apparent criticism at us, that we would ordinarily aim at ourselves.

[00:17:19] That's when we believe criticism. Because here's tip number two. All the power, all the sting in criticism lies in the fact that we at least partially believe the criticism. They say we stuffed up. A little bit we think we did too. And we judge ourselves rather harshly for that. As well as judging the other person.

[00:17:41] And if we could cultivate 100 percent self acceptance and punish ourselves less for our own fallible humanity. Rather, appreciating our foibles just as we do our talents, then we wouldn't be so brittle, so vulnerable, so scared, so hyper vigilant. Other people's words about us, or these sneaky signs of disrespect.

[00:18:06] We can simply practice self respect. It's a choice, it's a skill, and it's a habit, and a very protective one. Full self respect is the antidote to disrespect from others. And rather beautifully and poetically, to the extent we practice self respect, our respect for other people will also increase.

[00:18:28] And I think all of this is, it's tremendously good news, because it means We can become much more immune to disrespect by changing our own minds. That's what I love most about coaching. Actually, we expand our own good qualities and the power of our thinking to make our own lives more comfortable. We don't need to wait for somebody else to fix things for us.

[00:18:52] And this includes disrespect. We can do it for ourself and we retain that asset. We retain the ability to diffuse disrespect. It's one we can continue to use all our lives. So I think that's a sweet deal. For me, I've been very grateful for learning a bit of that. So if you often feel disrespected, that was my first tip for you.

[00:19:15] Reimagine your response to what happened and de escalate the drama within. It's a life changer.

[00:19:22] So really we're working here at enlarging your self acceptance and creating self respect as a new habit. Then here's tip number three that I refer to very often on the podcast. So I hope you're listening and practicing because it saves so much heartache. Feel your feelings. There, I've said it again.

[00:19:44] I've talked about this a lot, but you can learn the basic method of feeling your feelings, particularly when you're reluctant to do you can learn that in episode number 95. of this podcast called Mastering Your Emotions. You'll get it now, you'll thank me later. Because if you didn't have to leap to the defense of your fragile ego; if you master humility, being willing to be just the human that you are; if you master your feelings, Humiliation, guilt, shame, embarrassment, resentment, abandonment;

[00:20:17] if you accept emotional vulnerability; if you did all of those things, how much smoother would life be? By the way, for those of you suffering shame, I did a podcast episode on that too. It's called number 32. Shame. You'll see it in the show notes. So when we believe that somebody is disrespecting us, even if they say something that we find insulting, Even if they berate us in public, even if there are actual negative consequences, like being taken off a project or losing our job, for example, we still don't need to take the disrespect to heart, because it won't be the disrespect that matters in the end.

[00:20:59] Although there might be a values clash with the other person or people, and it may turn out that we can't reconcile our differences. But in the end, what matters will be how you react to what happened, whether it evokes strong negative emotion in you, whether you're willing and able to simply feel that emotion, discharge the energy of it, become free to move on.

[00:21:26] Because my friend, emotional denial, unexpressed emotions, and dissociation from feelings. Anytime you repress or suppress an emotion, that emotional energy persists somewhere in your body. Making trouble for you for days or weeks or months or years. Denied emotions get stuck. They're going to hold you hostage and harm your health and the flow of energy in your body.

[00:21:53] And that's why I particularly recommend discharging them, actually feeling your feelings, which will allow that blocked emotional energy to leave your body. Don't hold them in, learn from them, let them out peacefully, but they can do no harm in the wild. Restore your own equilibrium and get on with your life.

[00:22:14] So that's tip number three, feel your feelings. It's A get out of jail free card for escaping disrespect, or any other emotion you don't want to feel, come to that. Okay, tip number four. If you have not picked this up already, in this podcast, depersonalize anytime you feel disrespected. People's opinions are their values and beliefs, not yours.

[00:22:39] They live by their values you must live by your own. You can't live by every other person's values and beliefs. You'll be in a pretzel in no time. Somebody said something that felt like disrespect to you, they speak, you react, and then you've got an ego clash going on. And believe me, when someone's provoked to defend their own beliefs, Their own sacred ideas of what's right and what's wrong, their own ego.

[00:23:06] They're for sure not thinking about you, they're simply defending themselves. Not everything is about you, even when your name is spoken. If your name is spoken, what that really means is the other person is deflecting their emotional distress. onto you. No biggie if you don't react. Unless you accept and take on their distress.

[00:23:29] Unless you believe them and react. If it's not really about you, what they say or do, it really has little or nothing to do with you. Quite often you can safely ignore it. Or, if you keep your own emotional temperature down. You can choose from your rational mind, how to respond thoughtfully rather than react emotionally.

[00:23:56] Even when somebody speaks in an offensive or angry tone, that just means they feel threatened. So you don't need to escalate that by biting back, do you? Hold onto your cool. Walk away if you have to and find a way of depersonalizing what happened. Find a way of recognizing that truly it's not really about you, that they have some internal distress going on that they're trying to outsource onto you.

[00:24:20] So you can go through my first tip number one by reframing what's happened first of all, just to bring your own reactivity down and then simply choose a different interpretation of what happened. One that doesn't set you off and your emotions off. And add to your burden of feeling. So tip number four, depersonalize.

[00:24:44] Remember it isn't really about you. Be curious, develop a new way of seeing and understanding other people's behavior. So that's four really powerful tools that I've given you there today to handle feeling disrespected. And I strongly encourage you to give them a try. Number one, reframe how you understand what happened until you are no longer bothered by it.

[00:25:09] You can ask yourself questions. What if I don't understand this fully yet? What can I tell myself about this? that stops it feeling like disrespect. Choose a new thought about it that serves you and it serves your blood pressure. That's number one. Number two, the antidote to disrespect. Cultivate a habit of self acceptance and self respect.

[00:25:34] It gives you your strength. Tip number three, feel your feelings. All of them. Don't run from your feelings, causing them to chase after you like a pack of dogs. I jest, but only just. Tip number four, depersonalize. What if it's not about me? This puts you back into your own power base of what you can control, which is you and your internal responses.

[00:25:58] And I've added a couple of other podcast episodes to the show notes here that you'll find useful. Episode 32, particularly, which is five steps to manage shame. If that's coming up for you, episode 35 on taking your own power back. And episode 95, yay, mastering your emotions. So today what I've spoken about is the exact same techniques I teach my clients to overcome the burden of disrespect and to work more productively and in fact more joyfully with people.

[00:26:29] And if you're often anxious, upset and exhausted by other people, if you're in burnout and ready to recover, let's start that right now. You can go and visit DexRandall. com and book in to talk with me about how to recover quickly and sustainably and get back to your best performance, leadership and most of all enjoyment inside work and out.

[00:26:53] If you enjoyed this episode or found it helpful, please help us reach more people in burnout by rating and reviewing the podcast. I would be very grateful to you. And if you know somebody else who's heading towards or in burnout or having difficulty with disrespect, anger, rage, resentment, please send them to the podcast.

[00:27:11] I recommend that new people listen to the first five episodes to get started. 

Reaction to Disrespect
How We Make Things Worse
Working with Reactivity
How to Reduce Emotional Turmoil
Depersonalizing Disrespect
Laddering Thoughts to Create Calm
Self-respect as an Antidote to Disrespect
Feeling and discharging emotions
Reframing and Depersonalizing
Cultivating Self-Acceptance
Taking Control and Seeking Help
Burnout Recovery Coaching