She always becomes anxious and annoyed when her long-time friend visits due to the chaotic nature of her friend’s personality. Her stress state grows in intensity the longer they are together. Her friend is often defensive, accusative, and speaks in an unfiltered, stream-of-consciousness way, which often makes her feel confused and completely disorganized whenever they spend time together.
Even in relatively uneventful conversations, certain people and events can often trigger confusion and anxiety in you that lies beneath the surface. You can feel the tension in your body. These triggers result in created stories, felt emotions, and expended energy.
Your nervous system can react to another person’s nervous system.
Many people who have been through great pain and suffering want to help other people. They can be very empathetic and sympathetic. For this reason, they have to be careful to protect themselves so that they don’t get drawn into other people’s dramas and stories.
When someone’s nervous system is elevated, your own nervous system can get activated and elevated. If a person is feeling stress for some reason and are not regulating, or controlling, their energy and emotions, then they will project their confusion, negativity, anger, sadness, etc. onto you. If you are being triggered by that person by not controlling your own emotions, then your nervous system may mirror what they are feeling. This is not only unpleasant and exhausting, but it also takes away your own power because you are being controlled by another person. This can elevate emotions and start conflicts.
Don’t give people what they want. Give them what they need.
Growth can be difficult and uncomfortable because it pushes you outside your comfort zone. Growth requires you to overcome your mindset challenges, mental blocks, and stories that are holding you back. It is the same for other people.
If you are trying to help a person grow but they continue to give you excuses as to why they can’t do this or that thing, then they are telling you stories, stories that are more often than not fabricated. These stories come out of their own experiences, emotions, and inner thoughts and keep them small, in fear, and stuck from moving ahead in their lives.
You don’t have to buy into other people’s stories. You are not responsible for other people’s successes or failures. They are responsible for them. It often happens that people waste a great deal of energy trying to help others who, deep down, don’t really want to be helped, no matter how much they protest otherwise.
If you feel frustrated or feel like a failure when you are not able to help someone, you may be buying into their story. They may even be manipulating you into buying their story. In this case, you mustn’t give that person what they want, which is to get you to pity them and feel their pain and drama, but give them what they need, which is to help them get into a state of calmness and relaxation. This will deescalate their drama and emotions so that they can think more clearly.
How can you tell if someone truly wants to change? Look at their actions. Do they match their words? Do they push through difficulties even though they are fearful? Transformation takes time, energy, focus, and deep inner work and a lot of people don’t want to do what it takes to change for the better. If this is the case, then you would be better off spending as little time as possible with these people so that you are being protected from their negative energy. If separating is not possible, your main goal is to stay as calm as possible and limit the time you spend with them.
If you suspect someone is just making up a story, ask yourself, “Is this true or is it just a story?” Then take the temperature of your own nervous system. Are you reacting to their anxiety or negative energy? You don’t have to. This is your life and you can protect yourself. You can stay calm in the midst of the storm by getting into your own body and regulating your own nervous system.
Maybe you are the one who is making up stories. Maybe you are not regulating your own nervous system which could be causing others to react to your chaos. You can change this.
How to regulate your own nervous system.
We all need to learn to regulate our own emotions, energy, and nervous system. Here’s how:
First, become aware of how you are feeling in your body. What parts of your body are affected by stressful thoughts and events? Do you feel anxiety in your chest, or a headache in your head, or pains in your stomach, etc.? Notice any reaction you have to another person’s nervous system, such as nervousness, anxiety, or anger. Noticing and feeling stress in your own body will help you to learn when you need to use strategies to relax and regulate your own emotions.
Second, keep a list of what people, events, and situations that trigger you. Identifying your own triggers that are causing your nervous system to get activated and put you into a stress state will help you to avoid getting into stressful situations in the first place. (To learn more about the central nervous system, click HERE.)
You can’t control another person’s energy and emotions, but you can influence them by mastering and controlling your emotions and energy. If you stay calm and do not get activated, then the other person will hopefully respond to your calmness, causing them to relax and calm down.
When exhausted women ask, “Why am I so tired all the time?” I help them to explore their story to see what has happened in the past that is draining their energy today.
Do you want more energy in your life? Do you want to heal your body so that you can live your life at a whole new level by bringing your best energy to important projects and to the people who matter most to you?
Book a call. I’d love to meet you!