I love the work that Byron Katie does. She has a worksheet you can fill out that she calls Judge Your Neighbour Worksheet. Basically, you write down all of your advice for someone else in a certain situation, and then you turn it around as advice for yourself. You have to be very gentle when you do this, so that you’re not being mean to yourself, just showing your brain how to think of the situation in a different way. Byron Katie says it should feel like a kiss, not a slap. As I’ve coached a couple of people, I’ve realized that this works in pretty much every situation.
I had a friend that seemed to always have some sort of drama in her life. Every now and then I would mention to my husband that I thought it was kind of funny how she was surprised every time something would happen. Then I was talking to my husband the other night about a few things going on for me, and he said, “So much drama.” He wasn’t saying it in a mean way or to point it out to me, he was just saying it because he truly felt like it was a lot of drama. As I thought about it, I realized he was right. I was making the situation very dramatic by how I was thinking and talking about it.
Now I like to do an exercise called, “Just like me…”. When something is bothering me about someone else, I just say what it is they’re doing and add on the end, “just like me.” I start to see how I’m creating the same thing in my life.
A really easy example of this is in our relationships. “He’s such a jerk!…just like me.” How am I acting like a jerk, or how have I ever been a jerk? “She’s being so dramatic…just like me.” How am I being or thinking dramatically?
You can do this in a positive way, too. “She’s so nice!” How are you nice; what is something nice you’ve done? This is helpful when you have low self-esteem. We tend to try to build ourselves up by putting others down, or feel bad about ourselves as we see all of the good qualities in others, but not ourselves.
…just like me. Try it and let me know if it’s helpful.