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Day 12_Blind Spots 101

Start:Jul 05, 2020

Duration:20 Minute(s)

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will improve the ability to overcome emotions that result in painful outcomes (Blind Spots).

Description: 'Blind Spots' is part of The Next Step series designed as a personal nav system. Each day it offers specific step-by-step guidance to help ... Read More


Step 1

Want to know what could be keeping you from having low-drama friendships, assuming you want low-drama friends, that is?

Step 2

If a friend has been very close but suddenly stops reaching out - or if you aren't reaching out - then something is wrong.

Can you think of a friend who has been distancing himself or herself from you lately?

Do you have any idea why?

Step 3

How comfortable are you about asking them talk to you in person to discuss the problem?

Step 4

Think about how you may be contributing to the problem before you talk to them.

What are you blind to about yourself that could be making an issue bigger than it has to be?

Some common blind spots for people are:
* Monopolizing conversations and not allowing the other person to speak
* Discussing private information with other people that makes your friend feel betrayed
* Controlling the friendship to the point where the person feels stifled
* Anger and acting out
* Risky behaviors
* Criticism
* Manipulation
* Bragging
* Self pity
* Uncommunicative
* Mistrusting
* Holding grudges or seeking revenge
* Drama queen or martyr

Yeah, there's a lot of them. We humans can get pretty creative with our bad selves.

Do you recognize any off these behaviors in yourself? If so, list the one(s) that apply.

If not, does the list help you think of something that may be in the way? If so, what?

If nothing registers with you, you may have a bigger blind spot than you realized, but we'll help you get at it if you'll let us.

Step 5

Let's flip things around.

What blind spots do you think your friend would list for themselves?

Step 6

Let's start with something simple. This one we can all relate to.

How strongly do you agree that your friendship could improve if you were to balance out the talking so that both of you share time speaking and both of you try to understand what the other is saying?

Step 7

Could your friendship get better if both of you strive to understand how the other person may feel as they're talking things out?

We're going for compassion here. Compassionate understanding can break through mistrust, which is a common blind spot. much peace of mind could be added to your friendship if you tried to be compassionate during talks where your egos are on the line?

Step 8

Going into your conversation, we have a few ideas about how to overcome what may be contributing to your broken friendship.

What if:
* You asked more clarifying questions
* Complemented the person about what they're doing well
* Offered advice only when you ask if they'd like to hear it
* Bite back critical remarks
* Offer feedback carefully, being sure to add encouraging words to balance out the things that may be hard for someone to hear
* Avoid being bossy, manipulative or demanding
* Don't sulk, shut down or play the 'injured party'

Do any of these resonate with you? If so, which ones?

If not, are there other behaviors that you could work to improve?

Step 9

Is there a behavior from Step 8 that you think your friend may be having a problem with?

It won't help for you to get all up in their business about it. That will just put them on the defensive.

But you can bring up your own shortcomings and let the person know how you're going to change.

If you start things rolling, the other person, hopefully, will follow. If not on the first try, give it a couple more discussions a few days apart and see what happens.

How confident are you that you're identifying areas to improve your friendships and you can overcome those issues?

Step 10

If you or your friend often engage in activities that put you or others in jeopardy, then this is toxic.

Behaviors that are the most disturbing are those that are:
* risky (drugs, alcohol, illegal activity, death-defying feats, brawls, gang affiliation, etc.)
* often angry and acting out
* controlling, manipulative and demanding

How strongly do you agree that you should distance yourself from a person like that?

If you're the person, then how strongly will you agree to keep going with these navitents (navigational steps) and overcome behavior that is trying to mess you up in a very big way?

Step 11

You've heard that 'future you' concept.

Well now's a good time to think about it.

What would 'future you' say to 'younger you' about keeping toxic friends or clinging to your own toxic behavior?

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