You can see they’re struggling emotionally and you soooo want to help. You’re full of good ideas about what they need to do and you share them freely. You’re met by some resistance, but you plough on, knowing they’re having a hard time – they just need a bit of your wisdom and everything’ll be fine. As the resistance grows you start to feel as if you’re nagging, but still you know you’re right and so you persist. Eventually you’re banging on in your own little show, while your partner or child closes themselves down and shuts you out. On a bad day it ends up in a fight.
What went wrong? That wasn’t what you intended? You only wanted to do good. You know they just needed to change something and it would all be OK again. Why can’t they be more like you?
Oh dear, how many times have I been there? Why did it take me so long to learn? And have I even learned it to this day? The desire to help, to give advice, to rescue another human being can be so strong. And the slightly uncomfortable underlying scenario is that it sometimes makes us feel good to be the rescuer – but it clearly doesn’t feel anything like as good to be the person being rescued.
So let’s have a look at the energy of how you can influence another person without creating this push-back.
There’s an important principle which gives you the key. If there’s an open connection between two people, the person with the more coherent energy field “organises” the energy field of the other person. What this means is that if one person is more peaceful than another (ie. more coherent) the peaceful person will influence the other person to become more peaceful, not the other way around.
So the first thing to do in a situation where you want to help someone else is to remember that your energy is the key. All too often you get triggered yourself by the struggle of someone else, and then you’re no better off than they are. For example, if your partner is angry, it’s surprising how easy it is to get angry about them being angry. It’s made all the worse because it’s often accompanied by a sense of self righteousness. The subtle language is something like this: “You shouldn’t be angry. You’re ruining the atmosphere. I’m so angry with you for being angry. How can you do this to me?” Notice that now both people are angry.
If you’re triggered by someone else you won’t be able to influence them in a positive way because your energy is no more coherent than theirs. Even if you feel you’re in the right, you’ll find yourself powerless to shift the situation. This is especially common for parents and children. The parent is worried or annoyed by the child. This means the parent’s energy is not coherent. The parent starts to go on at the child about how they “ought” to behave. The child doesn’t listen. The parent is further triggered because the child isn’t listening (and becomes even less influential as a result). The situation deteriorates.
If you want to turn this around you need to learn how to master your own emotions before you try to fix someone else – even a child. When you’re happy or peaceful or in another genuinely positive state the other person will be influenced by you automatically. It’s simply the natural way things happen.
Have you ever noticed that when you’ve had a fight, if one person smiles at the other it’s incredibly hard to keep on feeling aggrieved. A smile is such a winning gesture and the moment you smile back it feels like the light’s been turned on again.
The problem for most people is that they don’t have enough emotional mastery to be able to prevent themselves being affected by other people’s negativity. I find there’s a lot of fear of negativity in our culture. We’re afraid of pain. We hate to see someone else upset. We want to fix fear, worry and nervousness as fast as we can. We run away from depression and grief. And all this means we’ll often end up trying to cover over our own negativity in the hope that it might just go away.
In my work I’ve found it incredibly important to let people feel their own feelings and not to try to fix them all the time. I believe that it’s very important for everyone, including children, to explore and discover how they feel and to be able to make a choice about how they want to feel.
If you try to stop another person from feeling their emotions (usually because it’s uncomfortable for you) you prevent them from having an opportunity to gain emotional mastery. They never learn to make a choice about how they feel and how they react to situations. Ironically life then tends to feel harder and harder, giving them more and more negativity to deal with (and more for you to try to fix).
So if someone close to you is having a hard time, it’s worth asking yourself whether it’s necessary to fix them at all. Perhaps it’s simply better to let them feel their own feelings and see for themselves how they affect other people. You can pay attention to your own inner peace and happiness, so you’re not disturbed by their struggle – and you may just help their energy to become more coherent at the same time.