How to not be intimidating
To call them a “hostile audience” wouldn’t even begin to describe these people. If that class happened 10 years ago, I would have run out of that room in tears and considered throwing myself off of the nearest bridge.
Therefore, understanding how your brain became so vigilant and wary, and so easily hijacked by alarm, is the first step toward gaining more control over that ancient circuitry.Then, by bringing mindful awareness to how your brain reacts to feeling threatened, you can stimulate and therefore build up the neural substrates of a mind that has more calm, wisdom, and sense of inner strength - a mind that sees real threats more clearly, acts more effectively in dealing with them, and is less rattled or distracted by exaggerated, manageable, or false alarms.(The "hows" in this JOT are mainly about understanding.)The nervous system has been evolving for 600 million years, from ancient jellyfish to modern humans.I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t an absolutely miserable two hours (because it was), but they epically failed in their attempt to intimidate me. It was easy to keep pushing past their rudeness and hostility because I know that my class has value (thousands of people who went through my classes before them seemed to think so.) I know that there is value in my message of communicating with respect and kindness in the workplace (even if they clearly didn’t.) Most of all, I know that I have value as a trainer and a person. Sadly, there are many people in this world who get their jollies from intimidating other people.Whenever you’re on the wrong end of it, remember this: Stand tall and As awful as those physicians were, they didn’t kill me. I put it squarely in the rearview mirror and I refused to allow it to change how I view myself or my message going forward.
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Most importantly, the story that you’re telling yourself in your mind about how scary they are, isn’t real.