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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Listen When Someone Shows You Who They Are


Actions speak louder than words. Show, don't tell. These phrases speak to the concept of authenticity and integrity. Maya Angelou brilliantly captures the essence of integrity: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” Someone’s words just don't jive with what their actions are showing. Perhaps they don’t call you back, they arrive late, they make nasty digs. These people are showing you who they are by their actions.

Notice your own reaction: perhaps second-guessing yourself around what your intuition is saying and feeling crazy around the individual, frustrated even because of powerlessness in the face of this contradiction. At first you might even disbelieve them and when they prove themselves true, you act shocked that their actions have impacted you.

This is where authenticity comes into play. If you shrink from the truth of the situation, denying what you are experiencing, then you may be enabling the other person's behavior. You are not being authentic to yourself. It is easy to continue making allowances for someone else’s bad behavior. We tell ourselves any number of untruths: It’s not that bad. I’m just being oversensitive (It must be me). Maybe I can help them change. They really have so many other good qualities…and so on.

Step back and think, then think some more:
  1. Listen when someone tells you who they are
  2. Believe them
  3. Trust yourself: avoid second-guessing your intuition
  4. Lovingly detach from the person and their actions
  5. Be direct in telling the other how their actions are affecting you, then let them deal with the consequences of their behavior
  6. Take care of yourself: carry on with your own life and self-focus
We don’t own other peoples’ actions or reactions. We can only focus on own integrity and be our authentic selves. Do you need to take a step back and really listen to what someone in your life is telling you that contradicts their actions?

Empowerment coaching can help you get clear and gain clarity on relationships. For a free discovery session, call: 514.996.2414

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