Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois

Greetings, Faith.

Faith  

Greetings to you Lois.

Lois

Oh my goodness. We have been doing a number of podcasts that are heavy, light, heavy, heavy and this is kind of a heavy one again.

Faith  

Okay.

Lois

One by one we’re tackling a myriad of transitions that you might be facing and last week we explored the impact of the false self and if you miss that one, we encourage you to check it out. And this week more than before I have was just super conscious of what I am listening to in my head and where my focus is.

Faith  

Which is a good thing to do because we have the little messengers that are sometimes trying to define us falsely.

Lois

That’s right. And it’s us, it’s them, it’s everything. We’re so happy to see that you’re sharing some of our podcasts and thank you and we hope that after you listen today you will do the same and challenge others with some of the podcasts and encouraged some depending on what the topic is, our website www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com has a lot to offer. So sign up for the latest news we have and check out our social media as well wherever you are. So in all of our podcasts, we really want you to know that you are not alone, especially as you might be facing what we’re going to talk about today, which is Episode 95 Transition, the Impact of Intimidation.

Faith  

Okay? Yeah, that’s kind of, that’s my immediate kind of reaction like okay, because intimidation tends to be so oppressive and that thing we want to draw away from and pull away from. We don’t like being intimidated and there are various things in life that do intimidate us and it’s different for all of us based on our wonderful giftedness of what we can do so freely and other things that we don’t do as well. And people who do it better than us can be incredibly intimidating or the bully on the block can be intimidating. So intimidation comes in many forms.

Lois

And how we respond to it. Yeah. It comes in many forms at different seasons in our life and you may be at a season in your life where you just look at it and go out and doesn’t mean anything to me. And other times where every time an intimidating situation comes up, you get sucked in. And you know, a number of years ago, that’s what would happen to me if somebody decided to be intimidating and have a scorched earth policy? You know, those people. They say something or do something, and I would get sucked up and I would get burned along with whatever they were scorching around them. And suddenly, you know, a number of years ago it was like, wait a second, that’s their scorched earth and they can have it. By the way, I can do something like I can jump out of the way when you think about a beeline, because usually when people are doing that, if they’re trying to destroy or wound or harm, it’s really, it’s very laser focused and they’re coming at you or somebody. And I realized I could step out of the way. Wow. And they could keep going with whatever they were doing, go for it. And they could scorch others or scorch themselves, but I didn’t have to be burned as deeply.

Faith  

That is so good.

Lois 

And it was one of those, it’s a visual thing for me of watching this burning thing go down there and saying, wow, that must be hot and painful.

Faith  

Think I’ll go for a dip in the pool.

Lois

Exactly where before I would go, Oh yeah, I must be part of this. And you know, I learned that sometimes intimidation can be so severe. There’s not much you can do in certain circumstances. Now, fortunately for us, the intimidation we’re going to talk about today isn’t all that difficult. But you know, intimidation in a general rule means to make timid or fearful to frighten and to threaten people because that’s really what happens with intimidation.

Faith  

t really does. And that’s what causes that fight, flight or freeze response is that if we see something or we experience intimidation, one of those reactions that’s going to usually rise up inside of us. And it takes practice to find another reaction and another response to intimidation.

Lois

And because intimidation can look so different and someone who administers or delivers it can do it so differently. We have to be prepared on a myriad of levels and that’s kind of what we’re going to expose you to today. We’re using a number of sources in our podcast and one of them is www.ink.com which has a great article titled seven steps to dealing with highly intimidating people. So if you just wanna move over to there and read that article, you certainly can. There’s another one on www.psychcentral.com and they have a great blog on five ways to be more assertive with intimidating people. So we’re basically going to just look at how to manage intimidating people from a couple of different perspectives. And of course, Faith and I are adding our own to the list, but we want you to know where we’re getting our resources.

Faith  

One is to mentally prepare yourself when you must interact with a person who intimidates you. And this is so important because if you’re at work or in a situation, a friend or somebody who is, it’s become really intimidating. We don’t want to step into those situations. And so practice makes perfect. And I have oftentimes said to my clients, one of the things, if you’re having a hard time saying no to this person, I want you to practice saying no in as many different ways as you possibly can and do it when you’re in the car. Do it when you’re in the shower, do it when you’re alone, but find ways of actually verbalizing out loud the word no so that you practice it, you become empowered because oftentimes we haven’t said it and we have to say, that’s just not going to work for me. Well, how many ways can you say that’s, you know, I hear you, but you know that actually is not gonna work for me. You know, that’s not going to work for me. You tried different ways to say it. And so that you get practice, you hear yourself saying no in various ways so that when the time comes, you can actually say, I can flow off your tongue. It takes practice.

Lois

Oh boy does it. And mentally preparing yourself in terms of how you even received that other person. There are so many times that somebody who intimidates us does so because we’ve decided to compare ourselves to them and decide that we are less than, and we can’t do this as well. They can do this better. And maybe they’ve told us they can do those things better. And that’s why we believe that. But we believe a series of lies that if we looked at ourselves and said, well I can do this, I can do this. So if I mentally prepare by saying at least we’re on the same playing field, that level of intimidation can be eased just a little bit.

Faith  

And so what if they can do it better? There’s something else that you can do better than they can. Yeah, and you need to recognize that and see that we’re all made differently. Just let it stand on its own and Hey, if they even can’t do it better than you, but they need to believe they can? Let them.

Lois

Exactly. Remember that we’re all human. We have different abilities. Not better or worse either, but we get sucked into that. That’s one of the things that we, when we see somebody like that, it’s like we freeze most of the time. That’s usually what happens with intimidation. And so we take that in with all these other layers. So we encourage you to however you can. If you know there’s someone in your life or in your workplace that has that tendency to intimidate you, think of the fact that you’re just different and your abilities are different.

Faith  

Validate what this person is saying. So instead of having that person dominate you listening and even doing some reflective listening, it can be really good like saying after they’ve spoken, what I hear you saying is I repeat back to them what it is that they said and then they can feel heard. Oftentimes that can diffuse a situation very, very quickly. So what I hear you saying is, and they just kind of stand there baffled because yeah, you’re right. That’s what I said – that can really break it down. So validate, validate the other person, don’t get ready to fight. You know, we’ve talked about it before. You know sometimes when someone is saying something, we’re already thinking ahead about what our response to counter them is going to be. Shift that, change that into, Hmm, I don’t want to do that. I want to listen first and then maybe it’ll give me the opportunity to share my point.

Lois

And if you’ve gotten to that point where you’re bracing yourself a little better, where you no longer feel that they are better than no matter what they’ve said, then maybe you can listen and just say, I hear what you’re saying. That doesn’t mean you accept it. By the way, we’re not saying roll over, but the first line, if the first thing they hear from your lips is, I hear what you’re saying, it’s suddenly it takes some of that bite out of what they want to dish. Now, some people are so cruel that they even hear that, but it’s a great strategy because not everyone is that cruel.

Faith  

Oh, and by the way, if they can’t hear you, it’s a great opportunity to say, this doesn’t seem to be a good time right now for us to have this discussion. Hmm. So you’re still honoring them, but you’re ending it. I love it.

Lois

So these are some tips that we’re offering as you’re dealing with people who may be intimidating in your workplace or in your home life. And another way is to plan what you want to say and be firm and direct. If you’re in therapy or in coaching, you know that we want to use I statements rather than you. It sounds so simple. But after you’ve said, I hear what you’re saying and then if you can say what you personally might need or feel or be taking away versus attacking them back because that is where the instigation begins.

Faith  

It sure does and why add kerosene to the fire? Yes. Cause if that’s what you do when you have to be in that reactive mode. So yeah, just step out of it.

Lois 

And it’s hard because what we’re trying to encourage here today involves a lot of getting yourself girding yourself up, getting ready and sometimes we don’t want to do that, but it has a lot to do with when we even spoke about the false self last week, what we’re focusing on and how we’re trying to change our way of thinking and not just kind of being sleepwalkers where people literally can attack us. I found that I was intimidated far more often when I wasn’t paying attention. Because when I’m engaged and paying attention, then probably that you’re not going to get away with something like that. Right. Because I’m, well wait a second. What I hear you saying is, and I don’t like how that sounds to me and that’s fine. It’s an I statement and I can own that, but if I’m not paying attention, then I’m not ready. And then what? You can’t say that to me. Well, they actually just did and like, but I could hear the difference in my approach when I wasn’t prepared.

Faith  

No, that’s really good. Be alert.

Lois

Yes. It’s amazing. Yes.

Faith  

And don’t take their behavior personally. And it’s hard to do if they’re, especially through stingers in there, it hurts, but it really is not about you. It is about where they’re coming from. It is something that they’re experiencing. It’s something that they’re perceiving and the torment is more in them. Whenever a dart comes at us, that dart is trying to deflect their own pain, their own whatever is going on inside and put it onto you. Don’t take it. Don’t take the dart and just wait, breathe, and then speak what is true.

Lois

You know? Remember like in Nar-Anon or Al-Anon, you’ll learn the three CS and they apply here. You know, you didn’t cause it. You can’t control it and you absolutely can’t cure it. So if you think about it like that, when you hear these words of poison coming towards you with what Faith just said, when you don’t take the behavior personally, let it sit where belongs. It’s not about you. So. Hey, by the way, we want to let you know that we have a brand new sponsor for our podcast and we’re so grateful to Affordable Aesthetics.

Faith  

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Lois

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Faith  

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Lois

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Faith  

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Lois

Feel better today by calling (303) 669-0880 for a free consultation or go online to www.affordableaesthetics.net. We’re back on our podcast, Episode 95 Transition: The Impact of IntimidationSo one of the things we mention quite often in our podcast is what’s the lesson of being on the other side of intimidation?

Faith  

And there’s always a lesson. There’s always something to learn. It’s about ourselves. Where did this come from? Where did this fear come from? Where did this need to be accepted come from? And so we ask, it’s an opportunity to ask those questions that can take us into a deeper understanding of ourselves so that we can live more freely, to not be intimidated if we know the source of that intimidation because it didn’t happen just then. It comes from a long lifeline of other intimidating factors – all the way back to preschool being on the playground and the bully intimidates you or something or pushes you down and you cry. Those are things where intimidation starts early and so we need to understand that we can overcome some of those things. So yes, that’s one of the lessons you learned from it.

Lois 

And sometimes I remember early on when I would get intimidated, I actually learned how to speak up to for myself by listening to how they were so easily able to speak up for themselves. I remember being just in total shock and awe, like, wow, you would actually say that to someone? Now, while I wouldn’t choose to say it in those words, I realized that there were so many times where I didn’t speak up for myself and for what I felt I could use in this workplace setting. And maybe I wouldn’t use that style, but what I did learn was, you know what? Maybe in a different way I could ask for what I want as well.

Faith  

Oh, that’s excellent because you have to find your voice, but you have to find it your way. Yes, your voice is expressing your character and so keep that in mind. How you want to speak is going to be a reflection of who you want to be known as.

Lois

Another way is to practice assertiveness. And this goes back to the practicing thing you were speaking of earlier Faith, which is so, so true, and this is a skill that some have more than others, but at the core it’s about expressing your truth. So what does assertiveness look like for you?

Faith  

For me it is just having my voice to be able to state what I need and what will work for me. And it’s not about being selfish and all about, it’s all about me. That’s not what assertiveness is, but it is about having, if something is not going to work, to be able to say that is not going to work for me right now, please ask me again another time. I used to always be a yes person and I was so afraid to be assertive. And over the years I was so bogged down with saying yes to everything that I was losing my life, I was losing me. And so that wasn’t helpful and it wasn’t healthy. So that’s one way intimidation can affect you that you’re supposed to say yes and be involved. But when you’re assertive, you’re evaluating, you’re doing that scan we talk about. Is this a good time, is this right for me? What else is on my plate? I was asked recently to do something and I’m was looking at everything I was doing right now and I just said, you know, this is not a good time for me, but ask me in a few months I would be happy to reconsider. That’s being considerate for them as well as for myself because I’m stretching my plate tooth too thin. It’s not going to work. So one other thing about assertiveness, it’s very different. It’s not aggressiveness. Okay? So the one who is intimidating is using aggression and being assertive is making a stand of what works.

Lois

And if you feel that you don’t have skills in the assertive arena, this is a place where a mirror is really helpful. And whether it’s your earlier thing about, no, I can’t do that at this time. No, I can’t do that at this time with a different accent, with different mannerisms to really just watch yourself as you say it and you realize, Oh, I don’t look mean, I’m not looking aggressive. Right? I’m just speaking my truth here. But sometimes it has helped me in the past to speak into a mirror or into a microphone and listen to what it is. I mean, wherever you need to. If you have a dog, it’s really helpful. I am so assertive with my dogs and so, and I also know I’m not being aggressive with them. But there are ways that you can, that you can get, start getting it out, plan, prepare, be alert.

Faith  

That’s good. And then treat others with respect. Wow. That’s being the opposite of everything that you’re intimidated by. Right? So you don’t feel respected when someone is intimidating you. So walk in kind of the opposite of what intimidates you so that you do not become the intimidator. So when someone intimidates you, they generally are not treating you with respect. They talk over you, they undermine you. And sometimes that’s because you know, they sense weakness in you. And that’s where that assertiveness, when you start to rise up, that weakness begins to fade away. For sure. You know, be firm, but do it with respect. Yes, the words language. We’ve talked about language before, but language is so powerful in the words that you choose and how you choose to say them. And silence is a powerful, powerful response at times like, no. And then be quiet.

Lois

Ooh, go, go long way. Sure does. That space that you’re not engaging is very, very difficult for someone who’s trying to intimidate you, especially if they’re undermining you and doing it with a lack of respect. You know, at the end of the day, if you have tried these efforts and if you’ve really come up to the Mark and you’ve tried to be calm and treat the other person back with respect and it doesn’t go the way you’re seeing needs to happen, that’s when it’s time to bring in a supervisor. I think what we’re trying to say at this point is there is so much you can do on your own to begin to diffuse intimidation in your life. And if all of those things fail, then by all means, you know, take it up to the next level. And that is important, especially in a workplace. There are also times where you’d be shocked at how many times you can bring the level down just a notch. If you can stand up for yourself in ways that you feel comfortable.

Faith  

That is so good. And if it’s in the family dynamic, there are wonderful therapists that are more than happy to do family therapy and to break through the dynamics of the intimidator in the family.

Lois

It’s weird, but there are some people who don’t realize they’re intimidating. They may have a physical presence that’s, that’s just, you know, larger than life in more ways than one. They may be so beautiful that they intimidate you just by walking into a room and they don’t intend to do that. So just know that sometimes the reason we get intimidated is beyond the control that the person even has. And so those are things to weigh as you look at all of this. And I just love it that it goes back to just about everything. If when you wake up and start asking those questions of yourself and that other person in kindness and with respect, you might find a lot more than you ever anticipated.

Faith  

The people who intimidate you are not more worthy than you, and no one can make you feel inferior unless you allow them to.

Lois

So speak up where you can with practice and learn to say no where it works and yes where it makes a difference.

Faith  

And take small steps to break the pattern of feeling intimidated by being yourself. Work on yourself confidence, and stop underestimating yourself.

Lois

Please share this podcast and join us next week for Transition: The Impact of Labels.

Faith  

Get the latest news on our social media platforms and on our website and please subscribe.

Lois

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois

We’ll be back next week.