Do You Need to Grow a Non-Judgmental Attitude?

Do you ever find yourself knee-deep in a shit show of regret after being overly judgmental with someone? Each day we subconsciously make small critical judgements that can have some very big effects on our overall happiness and our relationships with others. We scrutinize Instagram clothing choices or lack thereof-, the car they drive, how quickly they accomplish a job, their intellect and whether or not they’re worthy of dating.

Even though we genuinely want to respond graciously, personal opinions can quickly veer into the territory of exploding brain matter, boiling blood and hurling slurs. This could permanently damage a relationship. The ego is conditioned to fight with word daggers since it keeps us safe, but it also prevents us from connecting. It prevents us growing.

Below are some ways you could be blocking healthy communication.

  • Looking down on a friend for their choices in (fill in the blank)
  • Criticizing your partner for not perfectly placing the dishes in the dishwasher
  • Second guessing a close friendship due to political differences

These reactions all come from impulses (responding without thought of consequences) rather than responsiveness. Vince Gowmon author of Let the Fire Burn, has a brilliant way of looking at it: “Instead of trying to stop ourselves from thinking judgmental thoughts, an easier way is to look through the eyes of wisdom and compassion”.

It only takes a nano-second pause for awareness to be acknowledged

Leo Babauta in his simple 4-step method to avoid being judgmental, uses DUAL

(and no, that doesn’t mean hand your sparring partner a sword):

  • Don’t pass judgment. We can’t assume what’s best for anyone but ourselves (and maybe our children–and even that’s debatable, just ask a teenager)
  • Understand. What’s their backstory? We can never know what unseen trauma someone has endured.
  • Accept (try to). We’re all doing the best we can. Yes, even your self-centered little brother and or emotionally numb mother
  • Love them…and yourself. This is not a “love is blind” type of thing where you stuff it down with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Loving someone despite the differences changes lives. It diffuses turmoil and leads to a brighter existence without unnecessary frustration. We’re all here to evolve our way back to our true nature–Love.

Here are some common impulsive reactions we’ve all been guilty of, and some response substitutions that are much more helpful:

❌ You aren’t doing this right

✔️This is different from what I expected

❌ If only you would stop…

✔️ It seems as though __X__ might be getting in our way

❌ Why did you do that?

✔️ What motivated you to do that?

❌ You’re wrong

✔️ My experience has been…

✔️ I see this differently…

❌ You’re lying. I don’t believe that.

✔️ I’m confused about…

❌ That’s ridiculous

✔️ I hadn’t considered that. How will that work for both of us?

❌ You make me mad

❌ You’re making me feel…

✔️ I get upset when…

✔️ I feel…

It takes effort to build a communication bridge between two humans especially when we haven’t dug deep enough to find commonality. The antidote is curiosity about the other person and where they’re coming from.

I challenge you

👉🏻👉🏽👉🏿 Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to observe your thoughts and triggers today. Notice when you want to spontaneously punch someone (call them names, push them into traffic) you catch my drift. Then…you have a very small window between your desired reaction and your actual one. PAUSE and take two deep breaths. Only then give yourself permission to respond with compassion or tell them you need to excuse yourself and take a ten-minute break. Release the constriction in your body so you can return to the conversation with poise.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Irene Abbou

Im very interested in your thoughts and any ideas on new topics 🙂

You can always reach me on Instagram

Https://www.instagram.com/irene.abbou/

DEAR REPRESSED EMOTIONS


DEAR REPRESSED EMOTIONS,

“Im on the path to being somone Im equally terrified by and obsessed with. My true self.”

~Troye Sivan

 

Welcome to a new year, beautiful!

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fill with all the social media rah rah of New Year New You. I think this phrase is a crock and sends a message of you’re not enough without purchasing, signing up to or altering some part of you. No-one needs to become someone new. We’re brilliant beings with our own quirks, our own crazy and our own radiance. We just need to take a big step out of the rational mind, and listen to the voice that speaks when we are most at peace.The part of us that knows there is NO WAY we are not going to show up, stand tall and live the life we were meant to.

 

I’m happy to be writing on repressing emotions because it affects pretty much everyone in one way or another. It could be with your boss, your silent mom, or friends that escape to a magical world for weeks on end.

 

Although repressed and suppressed feelings are often swapped around, their meaning is different. Repressed emotions are when unconsciously our mind decided -without asking our opinion- certain emotions were not ok. So, in an effort to protect you, it made them dis-appear. Suppressed emotions are when we consciously push feelings away.


Here’s the thing, repressors (totally made up word) of feelings don’t know they’ve bottled up their feelings. What they do know, is something is not quite right with their communication skills. Often others don’t “get them.” They find themselves being impatient, judgmental and sometimes challenged with social cues. Empathy doesn’t come naturally. On the flip side, the majority of the ones I have known are high achievers, annoyingly educated and can outwit anyone intellectually.



According to Amelia Nagoski best-selling author of Burnout, emotions are biological cycles that happen in your body. Like digestion it has a beginning a middle and an end. How cool is that? We know that if digestion gets stuck somewhere in the middle of its cycle, some upsetting things will happen. The same is true for emotions.

 

They can show up as:

● Never feeling loved (for the real you)

● Being judgmental

● Difficulty with vulnerability

● Emotional detachment

● Poor self-esteem

● Difficulty with patience

 

Why do people hold back emotions?

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry notes that emotional detachment can be the result of neglect, physical or emotional abuse, or even the loss of a caregiver through death or separation. In addition, it can be a response to being shamed or never witnessing feelings expressed as a young person.

 

Bottom line? Repression isn’t a healthy, long-term strategy. So let’s pull them out of our 501s and do this instead…

 

Release your repressed emotions

 

💕 Acknowledge that ignoring your emotions has been a barrier to forming authentic connections. They’re habitual and often unconscious, so this first step is often the toughest.

 

💕 Don’t judge yourself so harshly.

Repressing emotions is a survival mechanism we needed as children. You’ve likely experienced some form of trauma where it either felt uncomfortable or unsafe to express them. Instead, speak to yourself with compassion. Try to identify both the feeling and the real reason behind the feeling, not the B.S. our mind tries to convince us of.

 

💕 Practice using « I feel » statements.

It can sometimes be confusing when we’re not used to naming our feelings. Try to identify them by saying “I feel disappointed,” “I feel excited,” or “I feel embarrassed.” It gets to the heart of the matter. But saying “I feel like you’re an idiot” doesn’t work because it’s not a feeling.

 

Use this prompt:

 

“I feel >>emotion<< because >>situation<<.”

 

💕 Try EFT.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term non-invasive therapy designed to release energies that disrupt our wellbeing. It uses fingers (yours or a practitioners) to stimulate specific energy points. It is simple and can be practiced anywhere. This technique evolved from the theory that negative emotions are trapped in our body and need to be released to alleviate emotional suffering.

 

The best visual I can use for keeping emotions at bay is holding a beach ball underwater. It takes so much effort and its only a matter of time before it smacks you in the face. I highly recommend getting some sort of outside support if you believe you have many of the above characteristics .

 

My biggest wish for you this year is to PLAY MORE and bring your feelings in to awareness! Put an end to emotional repression and let’s work together to create genuine human connections.

 

Here’s to feeling truly loved,

 

Irene💕

 

 

Irene is the creator of the Happiness Within Reach program which coaches single, freedom loving women on the foundational skills of building a meaningful relationship with themselves so they can attain the love they dream of. She is an ICF, ACC Certified Personal Development coach who holds two certifications from the University of Pennsylvania on Positive Psychology and is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy. Irene is an advisor to the Keeepr app as well as a dating coach to the Three Day Rule Matchmaking Company. She is also an Amazon best-selling co-author of the book How To Be Crazy Amazing During Difficult Times and has been interviewed on podcasts such as Chat With Leaders and Beyond Barriers. Her mission is to remind women of their indisputable worthiness and capability of creating the extraordinary soul on fire life that is their birthright.

 

You can reach me on the link below:

​Https://www.instagram.com/irene.abbou/



The Magic of Letting Go

Hello Rockstar [FIRST NAME GOES HERE]!,

I am so excited to be writing you its feels like it’s been forever! There have been so many pivots in my world recently I’ve almost developed thigh muscle definition- almost, and I couldn’t be happier to be here with you right now.

In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself. Deepak Chopra

Letting go of almost anything even if it’s something we’ve been desperately trying to release is hard. There is a certain comfort to our discomfort. Have you ever had a powerful urge to floss your dog’s teeth? No? What about one to scrub your refrigerator draws? Well, that’s exactly how my inconvenient resistance to letting go rears its ugly head. Just like that, I’m about to complete a lengthy project and scrubbing bubbles hijacks every molecule of my brain.


Fortunately, today I realize, that the source of my fear of success originated from the meaning I gave my slightly strained childhood experiences. In my head, the freedom acquired from monetary wealth equaled sad, neglected little ones. My dad was very successful. Me, my baby sister and brother were neglected, so thats how my kids would end up if I made real money, right?Absolutely not! This accepted belief-I kept snug in the back pocket of my five year old OshKosh B’gosh was the biggest roadblock to my professional growth. I can almost guarantee that your wildestest longings are also being held back by the tainted lens through which you see yourself and what youre capable of.

This shows up in our grown-up life by sub-consciously finding evidence for this belief which reinforces its perceived truth. This keeps us stuck in an endless cycle of recreating the same outcomes.

Visualizing my kids as poster children for a Jerry Springer episode left me terrified, so my business excelled at the speed of a baby turtle. The frustration of not reaching my potential challenged me to make a real attempt at releasing my inner-child’s beat-up old baggage. Encyclopedia Britannica’s definition of old baggage aka belief is: a mental attitude of acceptance without the full intellectual knowledge required to guarantee its truth.

BELIEFS ARE NOT FACTS

Common Old Baggage:

  • I’m not worthy of…
  • I’m only worthy when…
  • I cannot be loved as my true self
  • I cannot have what I actually want
  • I am underving of love…
  • If I do what I want others will be unhappy

 

My business goal was transforming the quality of people’s lives by teaching them the foundational skills of intimate human connections. I finally understood that inherent to reaching my goal was releasing my association of career advancement with a collapsed home life. This led me to get reacquainted-yet again- with the most important relationship I’ll ever have, the one with myself.

Shortly after identifying what was holding me back, I made a commitment to a daily practice of prioritizing my mental health. When we are fully conscious of who we are and attuned to our self-worth; we are unstoppable.

My full time job is my mental health. I am most interested in mental health for without it, we can lose life. The quality of our life is directly related to our attention to our mental health.

Elizabeth Gilbert

In 2020, I hired a business coach, began group therapy, and like a sign from the universe; beautiful human connections and opportunities started presenting themselves to me. Collaborations with businesses in fields I didn’t know much about knocked at my door. Meaningful friendships were created and bloomed despite not being able to physically be near one another. Tami Holzman the Queen Connecter thank you for being such an integral piece of my growth and holding my hand through so many new-isms.

If there’s anything certain in this human chop salad we call life, it’s change. If we have a longing for something that never goes away, listen to it! That is a power greater than yourself guiding you towards what you always knew was meant for you.

Let go of the old and follow your heart to the place where anything is possible!

Rumi once said, what you seek is seeking you.

There is an inextricable bond between gaining something extraordinary and releasing old versions of ourselves. It’s simply part of the process to the crazy amazing new chapter of our life.

My question to you is…

WHAT MUST YOU LET GO OF TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE?

Biggest Hugs,

Irene Abbou

Irene is the creator of the Happiness Within Reach program which coaches driven men and women to open their hearts to self-love while forming deep and meaningful interpersonal relationships with others. She is an ICF, ACC Certified life and business coach who holds two certifications from the University of Pennsylvania on Positive Psychology and is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy. She is also an Amazon best-selling co-author of the book How To Be Crazy Amazing During Difficult Times.