When something is presented to us in "packaging" that doesn't feel comfortable,
it's very natural to wish the presenter had "wrapped" the message differently.
We can get very annoyed if there are abrasive, awkward, insensitive or judgmental trappings to the message...we may even issue complaints about their upsetting delivery.
However, neither of these options will produce the peace and harmony we are seeking.
But... what if WE repackaged the message ourselves?
After all, we are the one who knows what didn't feel right and we are also the one who could help change its presentation.
What if we "translated" the message, giving the presenter a chance to consider our reframing and see if it still hits the mark (but without the barbs and wires it originally carried)?
We begin this process by gently and compassionately acknowledging the state of the person's emotions (I know...I know...this will not be easy when they may be breathing fire).
For example, we say,
"Are you OK? Looks like you've got a lot going on."...offered with beautiful, heart-directed eye contact.
Then, after pausing for a few seconds...we follow this up with the gentle expression,
"What can I do to help?"
Now, we have clearly shown that we see the person is dealing with a lot and needs some support.
Our OFFER of assistance may seem strange since he may have just told us what he wants us to do (or maybe even ordered us to do)...but the fact that we are offering to help...even though he may have already demanded it...will shift the dynamics of the moment.
And the reason is that he will feel UNDERSTOOD....he will feel that somebody gets how he feels and he really needs this right now because his emotions are overloaded...he is unable to speak calmly... and now, because he feels umderstood, he has the opportunity to take a breath and tell you what he needs in a less agitated manner.
It will take some real practice before this approach becomes a default choice for you in the face of someones's irritating and upsetting behavior. But, this is a wonderful and highly compassionate way to cut through the high intensity static that is coming right at you and also perform a very special act of service.
Everybody wants someone to "get" how they are feeling. If you can cut through the smokescreen of someone's irritation and annoyance, "see" the need behind it and offer a compassionate heart response...you will have discovered the beauty of love FOUND IN TRANSLATION.
image from Iyanla Vanzant Facebook.