I’m pretty sure everyone knows someone who always has something to say and either doesn’t respect boundaries or feels that they have a right to comment or criticize.
The other day a patient came in and was asking me what could she say to her sister in order for her sister to stop criticizing her at every turn. The stress in the relationship was even more pressing because she had just temporarily moved in with her sister.
We may feel that the only way to deal with this is to either create more space between us and them or to escalate and confront.
What occurred to me is that there really isn’t anything we can say that will change the other person unless you’re able to catch them in a receptive mood. And even then it’s usually challenging to change our habits. It takes self-awareness and energy.
The silver lining in all of this is that you don’t need to say anything to them. You don’t even have to try to change them. All you have to do is change how you hold the relationship in your body. Let me explain.
Polarity is everywhere. For example, the earth has North and South magnetic poles. Polarity exists between males and females, between the masculine and the feminine. You can see examples of polarity in politics: left vs. right, conservative vs. liberal.
Anywhere you see extreme ends of a spectrum, you’ll see polarity. The media’s modus operandi is to establish some sort of polarity and then ask questions about it. They create stories based on polarity, identifying two opposite camps and then asking you to assign yourself to one of them.
Polarity pulls on our emotions. It is a powerful force in nature and in our lives because of this. As soon as we’re feeling emotional about something, we become influenced and held by polarity. Interestingly, we’ll think certain thoughts in order to match how we’re feeling. Most people think it’s the other way around. But I’m getting away from the point I’m trying to make.
Polarity exists in our relationships with other people and ourselves. A relationship that is polarized often has one person exerting power over the other. “Let me tell you how it is and you just listen”. At the same time, you are giving power to them.
The way to start taking back your power is to acknowledge the polarity and to feel how it is anchored in your body. (to check out a step-by-step video, click here)
Once you do this, the polarity has less of a hold on you. You react differently to people and things that “trigger” you. This could help if you’ve been hoping for a closer relationship with someone. You can’t change other people but you can change how you react to and interact with them. Sometimes this also helps to change how they interact with you.
Polarity is not something we want to get rid of, even if we could. We can either be a slave to it or we can use it to create the change that we want to see in our lives and in the world.