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Thread: How to repair reputation/relationships after oversharing about my relationship?

  1. #11
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Trust in time to heal your rep IF you turn on the professionalism and avoid making other people's experiences about you. This doesn't mean turning cold, but it does mean to skip being overly friendly and trying to bond with customers on the level of friendship. Be kind and invested in your customers' goals and the right physical moves and mental focus for THEM.

    Reserve your social life for outside of work. Consider using the internet to find groups, clubs, volunteer opportunities and go into these as warm but reserved. Participate without neediness, and you'll find that over time, people will become more familiar. Some people will become acquaintances and from there a subset may evolve into friends--but not if you treat them as therapists.

    Hire a therapist, instead. Discuss your mistakes and your need for some social polish. Often you'll find that making your exchanges about the other rather than yourself encourages trust, and with trust comes more of an interest in you. Learning not to abuse that interest is important in cultivating friendships, as well as learning how to relax and just be a good listener.

    The biggest ascent I ever made in building friendships and stronger bonds with family was when I struggled with anxiety after a hurricane. I had lost all of my possessions and had to move. My best tool for keeping myself together was to behave in ways to prevent people from worrying about me. I devoted my attention to making my time with others about them, not me. I didn't have the energy to be 'on' all the time, and this worked in my favor. It took the edge off of trying too hard, and instead it allowed me to be quiet and listen to people talk about themselves. I'd inject a bit of humor or ask questions to learn more, but I shut down the part of me that got in the way of sincere interest in supporting others.

    So use this time to shock yourself into piping down and learning the power of invisibility. Go low key, save your high energy for workouts, and use a gentle approach with others as you heal your way into learning empathy and respect as your best friendship tools.

    Head high, this could be a turning point and become the best thing that's ever happened to you. Use it wisely.

  2. #12
    Gold Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Wise advise, catfeeder. And, you're a very selfless person. You are spot on.

  3. #13
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    I dont know what to say..your post really moved me deeply. 'Grace' is the only word I can use to describe the attitude you are speaking of and displayed during that hard time you went through. I will take these words to heart and reread your post often. I guess for some the default switch when are in pain is to 'take' even in situations where it's not appropriate and that's what iv done.
    I made a complete hodgepodge of clients, friends, and acquaintances and a mess of it at that. From now, I will be more aware the clear divisions to be enforced and, more than that, be more silent so that for once I can try to listen more instead of waiting for my turn to talk.

    So far, I've made improvements with not bringing the issue up at all, unless someone specifically asks and even then I try to keep it short. I am focusing on repairing client relations by providing service and keeping things professional. Some of the people who starting distancing are seeing the change and are already coming around. Focusing on work and finding work has been key.

    Yesterday, one of my clients (the one I think my ex left me for and was perhaps cheating with - true or not its my gut feeling) came to my class. He has been absent suspiciously since the break up and not attended my class. I was tempted to mention her to him in an indirect way to see if he flinched. I also didnt want him there because of the strong negative association I have with him connected to her and the break up (if only by suspicion). But I refrained and I smiled and didnt say anything. It was hard but I did it. He contacted me later thanking me for a great class. I simply said im glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the nice feedback. I really wish he would stop coming because its hard for me to deal with, but I can use as a way to get used to professionalism when emotions are present.

    Today I will make more effort to listen more and talk less. I will also look for groups and volunteer opportunities. Thank you again for the great advice.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Great work, HP! We can never convince anyone of our sincerity by speaking, we can only demonstrate it over t.i.m.e.. You're doing that, and you're already noticing good results just by calming down and stepping out of your own way.

    Not all results are instant, but when I made the decision to attempt ONE DAY of practicing 'ego invisibility,' the calming and anchoring felt so liberating, I decided to do it again the next day, and the one after that, until the habit became my default mode of operating. I have rarely, if ever, returned to my old tap-dancing ways.

    One practice that enhances this skill is a few minutes a day of meditation. It's not true that your mind must be cleared of all thoughts as you do this. That's like making it a goal to stop your own heartbeat. You can, however, slow your heartbeat and any racing thoughts by using this time to focus on an anti-anxiety method called 'square breathing'. Breathe in to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4, breathe out to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4. Repeat and focus on slowing your count for longer and longer intervals.

    If you sit up and do this in the morning on waking for one or two minutes, you can either add more time over the course of weeks or not, you'll still gain the benefits of practice. You can research these benefits in an Internet search, but the biggest one for me has been an instant ability to adopt this breathing any time, anywhere, whenever I feel stressed. It's one of the most recommended stress reducers by therapists and it has aided people in avoiding medications or weaning themselves off of those.

    Originally Posted by hp1
    From now, I will be more aware the clear divisions to be enforced and, more than that, be more silent so that for once I can try to listen more instead of waiting for my turn to talk.
    Excellent! Relax into a trust that if there is anything important for you to say, you'll have no trouble retrieving it at the appropriate time. However, this practice can teach us all that most of what we believe is important is not. It's attention-seeking, which usually has the opposite impact than we intend. It drives a wedge between ourselves and others by sending the message, "What you share with me is not important to me; I'm only interested in reclaiming the spotlight to show off." Stepping outside of that habit to send a message instead that says, "I hear you," not only encourages trust from others, it declutters the mind and enables us to trust our highest intelligence to operate as needed.

    Originally Posted by hp1
    I am focusing on repairing client relations by providing service and keeping things professional. Some of the people who starting distancing are seeing the change and are already coming around. Focusing on work and finding work has been key.
    Good! When we love what we do, keeping our focus upon it to the exclusion of seeking recognition comes naturally. We are self-rewarded, and so concerns about external rewards drop away and we actually become even better at what we do.

    Originally Posted by hp1
    Yesterday, one of my clients [..] contacted me later thanking me for a great class. I simply said I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the nice feedback. [...] I can use as a way to get used to professionalism when emotions are present.
    Well done, especially your recognition of the opportunity that challenging people can present. There are no advantages to projecting 'stuff' onto anyone. Our own painful experiences can either be used to enhance our confidence in our resilience as a life skill, or they can be used as barriers to stagnate around. Practice neutralizing your projections in the first place--then you won't need to combat your emotions about them. You can allow your intellect to work in your favor instead of against yourself. Getting hung up on suspicions about someone who can only matter to the degree that YOU decide that they 'must,' is self-fulfilling angst--and for what purpose?

    This isn't to say that enlightened thinking is some sterile state where nothing and nobody matters to us. Just the opposite. It's a mastery of control over selection--which emotional connections are productive and rewarding versus those that are miserable and ridiculous displays of insecurity confused with dominance. Territorial dominance is the stuff of animal kingdoms or bar room brawls that matter to nobody but the impaired. Evolved self control knows no need to sneer or pose for anyone, because by definition, the only true dominance that exists is control over one's own mind.

    Head high, and enjOy your new focus.

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  6. #15
    Gold Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    hp1, It's never too late to change and you are changing and improving for the better. Life is full of learning experiences. We find out what works and what had failed miserably in the past. As time goes by, you'll become wiser and wiser. EVERYONE makes mistakes. You're not the only one. The difference is between those who learn from those mistakes and does something about it vs. those who repeat same mistakes habitually, never admired and respected. You are in the camp where you're intelligent enough to know how you can change for yourself, for others, be a person you can respect in yourself and others will know you are a good, very decent human being. You will be alright!

  7. #16
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    Thank you so much for your replies. Really appreciate the time and effort to do so. Actually I Had a pretty consistent meditation practice for some years, but fell out of the routine. I've since started again and it helps for sure. I'm not enlightened enough yet to not feel anger and frustration at the way I was left by my ex and the circumstances around it, but I'm at least refraining from making worse. I can say I am very unfound of (to put it mildly) of this client who I know played a role in at least accelerating the demise of my relationship. Ultimately it was her decision I know. But as I said I'm still very much in the middle of emotions and hurt and feeling betrayed. As far as friends and clients go, that part I can more easily step into a detached state and continue to step out of my own way. It's only been 3 weeks since she dumped me and she sabotaged the relationship with disrespect towards me to try to force me to end it for months. I'm not there yet on being ok with what she did and what this client did, but I accept that I allowed myself to stay in that situation. But I digress, that is my other thread.

    Will continue making mindfulness a priority and being less reactive to those who may not want to notice or care about these changes.

  8. #17
    Gold Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Yes, being mindful is key. Err on the side of caution by keeping your mouth shut. It is safer. You don't want regrets after you wake up tomorrow morning and regret by asking yourself, "Why did I say that?" This is the same whether verbal or written. It's about changing the way you think and self-control.

    People can't always say and write exactly what they think because often times it could very well get them into trouble. Dealing with trouble later, isn't worth the risk and hassle not to mention a ruined reputation. Always think first and ask yourself if it's a prudent decision. Be wise because being intelligent will make your life easier, more peaceful, smoother, prevents undue angst and stress. Think before you act.

    All of this takes a lifetime of practice. Live and learn the hard way. I've never learned the easy way. Life's harsh experiences including people's reactions taught me what not to do and what to do in my current life and in the future. Life will teach you to navigate your life wisely.

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