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Placating VS Personal Power


By far, one of the most popular communication patterns associated with "insufficient" personal power, that I come across as a counselor, is placating.


Whenever we automatically respond with a placating response we are virtually giving away our personal power to something or someone external to ourselves; without even trying to advocate for the voice of our point of reference, as if it mattered less....

The word "automatic" is the key, as it is a very different emotional process when we purposefully feel comfortable about choosing to prioritize the inner experience of another person...


Other tell-tale characteristics of a placating response are: feeling like one is frequently attracting contempt or abuse, saying yes or being quick to agree even if one feels otherwise, tending to take too much responsibility for other people's feelings, or tending to stay quiet despite longing to give one's inner experience a voice...



Feeling Safe/Secure is the Key


Whether or not we go down the knee-jerk placating rabbit hole depends on the degree to which we are feeling secure.

Whenever we experience even a hint of feeling threatened or make an interpretation that we are not safe, we are then vulnerable to reacting with a past-related, survival-based emotional pattern, which involves giving away too much of our personal power, including our inner voice, time, or resources...




Moving forward...


Whereas placating is associated with feeling threatened, the key to making a response that takes back personal power is in tapping into a place of high self-worth...


Giving yourself a moment to take a couple of slow breaths and tap into a place of value and high self-worth is a great starting point.

Remind yourself that in contrast to your past, when you may have learned to reduce the threat in your environment and protect yourself from rejection, conflict, or stress, by complying, appeasing, or handing away your power; now as an adult your own inner wisdom is your highest authority...


Even taking a moment to acknowledge your inner experience is a great step to take! As you reaffirm to yourself that your unique perspective and inner wisdom add value to the world!


Here are some other helpful coping suggestions for moving forward from a placating response, towards a personal power one:


  • Strive to consider each situation which calls for your response with "fresh eyes." Strive to stay mindful of choosing your responses with awareness, appreciating that every situation is unique and calls for a fresh, unique choice around how to respond!

  • Give yourself a moment to take a couple of slow breaths before making a response, grounding yourself in your body and being. Moving on from a placating response is all about bringing back the acknowledgement/awareness of your SELF.

  • Reflect on the particular situation in which you're in, and considering your inner experience and that of another, visualize how you would like to see yourself responding. Visualization is a powerful sport psychology technique that aids you in establishing alternative mental pathways...

With much love,

Bozena





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