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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

Liberate Your Relationships: 4 Ways to Soothe Negative Judgments [Wise Wednesdays]

Updated: Jan 24

Ever caught yourself dwelling on negative thoughts about someone? Maybe they did something upsetting, or you disagreed in some way.


Imagine a friend organises an event without inviting you. How would you feel? What stories would you tell yourself? Now, envision discovering it was a surprise party for you. Perspective changes everything. The question is: which perspective is correct?


A petty disagreement with a colleague once left us in an office deadlock. The colleague wouldn’t talk to me and I didn’t know what to do. After meditating and shifting my perspective I felt a sense of compassion and forgiveness towards him. I was surprised to be greeted warmly by him the next day. Shifting perspective works in weird and wonderful ways sometimes...


So how do you shift perspective?


[Read on or watch the video to take a walk with me]


Awareness first: Beware Enemy Images…


Why does this negative rumination happen? It’s an automatic response to perceived threat that nonviolent communication calls: Enemy Images.


The way out: soothing your amygdala. The original meaning of soothing is not sentimental but “to witness the truth”. In other words, soothing your amygdala helps you see the situation more clearly.


Here are 4 ways to prevent negative thoughts in healthy relationships where occasional misunderstandings happen:


#1 Soothe the body: Combat survival responses with massages, hugs, or gentle exercise. Remind your body it's safe.


#2 Soothe the heart: Cultivate positive emotions by recalling moments of joy or happiness. Marinate in those feelings.


#3 Soothe the mind: Adjust the story you tell yourself. Find ease in understanding, "They have their reasons."


#4 Soothe your attention: Combat hyperfocus by zooming out or finding pleasant specifics during scattered, anxious moments.


Repetition is the mother of all skills:


Remember, repetition is key. Don't let survival responses take control. From here, you can take wise action and communicate powerfully.


Creating "enemy images" can destroy relationships. Soothing isn't about pretending; it's about getting closer to the truth and a wiser interpretation.


In a world of deepening social divides, tempering reactivity and embracing diverse views will become increasingly important to prevent unnecessary conflict.


How will you handle Enemy Images and liberate your relationships? Reply here or let me know in LinkedIn.


Have a great week,


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