Do you ever find yourself feeling frustrated or triggered by another person’s behaviour? Perhaps you have noticed that they are controlling in some way or that they are constantly not doing as you expected! Being around people like this can be difficult can’t it?
And it’s not just human behaviour that can cause us to feel irritated or uncomfortable. I’m sure many of you will have experienced a moment with a horse who seems to be disrespectful of your space or it’s not doing what you feel it “should” be doing at that particular time.
We have all been in situations like this, I’m sure.
It can be quite a challenge when you learn that many of the behaviours that trigger uncomfortable feelings within you can actually be a mirror of some of your own behaviours or habits.
None of us want to think we are controlling, disrespectful or rude in any way. It’s human nature to want to be liked. It’s difficult to allow yourself to feel the uncomfortable feelings which arise when you witness the behaviour and that’s why you project them onto someone or something else in the first place! I am sharing this with you because I think it is an important part of any inner healing journey to understand your own feelings.
Let’s use the example of a person who comes across as controlling. Instead of thinking badly of them and heading straight for thoughts of how you would never behave in that way, try asking yourself why this behaviour makes you so uncomfortable. Sit with that feeling, rather than trying to push it away, and try to pinpoint where the feelings have come from. Perhaps it takes you back to a time in your childhood that was unpleasant or traumatic or reminds you of a person in your life who you didn’t enjoy being around. Once you have recognised this, and this may feel quite vulnerable, try to identify areas in your life where you feel a need for control. It may manifest itself differently to the type of control that has annoyed you in the other person, but there will still be some similarities. For example, one person may be controlling in that they like to know where their partner is at all times, while another may project control onto their children by making them sit at the table until they have eaten a certain amount of their dinner.
When you are able to identify why you are triggered by a behaviour you can start to work through the feelings and emotions connected with long, deeply buried memories that cause you to behave in similar ways. From here you can identify what behaviours are useful and what aren’t (ie: instilling in your children not to waste food is useful to a certain extent but forcing them to eat food that they are too full up to eat, or don’t like, could have equally as problematic long-term consequences as wasted food. Is there a compromise?).
The same applies for when a horse is behaving in a way that causes feelings of discomfort or even disappointment and frustration. When you find yourself in this situation ask yourself, is the problem really with the horse. What are your intentions for the horse at that moment in time? Is it that you need to get a head collar on to them to walk them back to their stable but every time you go to put it on, they turn and walk away? The horse is clearly telling you that it doesn’t want this to happen and perhaps a different method is needed to make the horse feel more inclined to cooperate (carrots are usually the key for Bramble!). The horse is doing what it chooses to do and not doing as you expected, causing you to feel triggered by the situation. What is this telling you about yourself and your relationships?
Could it be that the horse has mirrored a problem that you may have with asking for what you want or something not working out as you expected in other relationships in your life? Is more flexibility needed in certain areas of your life where so far you have been a little too set in your ways.
When things frustrate us about others it is always helpful to start with ourselves. What is that behaviour, that we find so displeasing in another, how do we experience it within us and why? Has it resulted in behaviours that are useful or is it worth working on them in order to strengthen the relationships that we hold dear?
If you would like to explore this further then I invite you to book a call with me to discover more about how my method of coaching can help you to identify areas in your life that you find triggering, where they stem from and how you can work though them in order to have healthier boundaries and feel more fulfilled.