Connect with Repositioning

Yowsa, getting ready for International travel requires a lot of work. First on my list was to be sure my phone was on the International Travel plan. I called my provider, they wanted me to talk to a robot, it could not answer my questions, so I was put on hold for 31 minutes waiting for a live person.

Finally, I had to disconnect. I tried again the following morning. I was put on hold this time for 36 minutes. This gave me a lot of time to think. This waiting when I was so busy made me really frustrated. But I did have a choice. I could change providers. This is always an option. Rather than being a victim, I could make needed changes. While waiting I mutiltasked so the time was well used.

After forever, a customer service rep came on, I was good and frustrated by then, and so I shared my angry feelings with him. He AGREED with me 100%. Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. I was ready for him to become combative or make excuses, but he didn’t. He simply agreed with me. This was a game changer for me. I realized and likely he did too, that all I wanted was to be heard. I wanted to share my frustration and not necessarily expect for it to be fixed, but mostly for it to be heard. Validated. He did that.

And so, this changed the outcome of my experience. I was so impressed with his obvious good training , I felt heard and happier and we worked things out and instead of me breaking up with my provider, we are back together now. In life, when we encounter an angry person, they are giving us valuable information quite often and our response to them is information about ourselves. We can become defensive and make excuses for how they feel , or we can hear them and empathize. Which do you think is more constructive ?

The negative outbursts we see all day long on the internet, many of them are about people wanting to be heard. Some of these people have never been heard in their entire lives. What sort of information are they giving us about themselves when they spout unkindness? They are letting us take a peak into their internal world. We can become combative and escalate the conversation, or we can become empathetic and diffuse the conversation as the Verizon employee did with me. Hearing another’s pain and listening, and being empathetic and present for them is not the same as agreeing with them. Not at all. It is simply hearing them. Maybe for the first time in their lives, they are experiencing what it is like to be heard.  When we nod and repeat what they are saying and asking if we heard it right and is there more, then we are helping to calm their limbic system, the place where their emotions hang ou,t and we are helping them heal.

If we want to heal our angry world, this is how we do it. We hear each other and validate one another’s feelings. We don’t have to compromise our own values to hear another. We dont have to agree with them, we simply have to acknowledge we hear them. Try it and see, what do you have to lose? Be the change you want to see in the world. Help heal our angry world.