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Damage Control – The New Secret To Emotional Health

Health | Stress

Now, you are probably aware that you must first have peace, love, and happiness in order to give it. But what about others? Do they give you that peace, that love or that happiness? Or are the people around you projecting their hate and unhappiness on you? It's not always easy to deal with co-workers, bosses, family and friends. But to improve your emotional health, it is vital that you have healthy relationships and a healthy social environment. And you know what? There's a new secret to achieving exactly this: Damage control.

So, let’s talk about this NEW secret and how to apply it in three different situations: Family, friends and work. The power to move in a (sometimes hostile) social environment lies in this one secret.

Emotional Health And Family

Imagine yourself looking through a microscope when you interact with your family and tell me what you see. Do you see strong bonds of love and respect? Be honest and take the time to recognize your part in the dynamics at home. It can be your parent, your child, your partner, or a roommate. The microscope shows you the little things that you can not see when you zoom out. Damage control means being aware of the little things that matter. Your contribution is all that matters because you can not control the rest.

Damage control is being able to recognize your role and taking full responsibility. It is able to clean up messes you have made as well as prevent them. It can bring peace of mind and allow you to focus on what’s most important. The blame game has no place in damage control because you are taking responsibility for yourself and your life. This secret along with the other powerful secrets you already apply are all about your happiness.

Emotional Health And Friends

"I do not claim to have attained optimum emotional well-being. Actually, I think that may be a lifetime goal. For me it’s an ongoing process that requires awareness, knowledge, and practice. I do know what good emotional health feels like, and that motivates me to keep at the practice.” Dr. Andrew Weil

I'm going to use a real life example for this one: Let's imagine that you have just gone through a major change in your life. You are a new and improved you, yet your friends still can’t see it. Why is it and what can you do? First off, the reason your friends are acting weird is that they are not used to your new you. They have been conditioned to expect you a certain way and they don't understand or SEE your new you. Now, if you decided to cut your long blond hair into a bob and dye it orange then of course they would see this new you. But drastic actions tend to scare people away.

Ok, so here is how to use damage control in this situation. You need to put in some effort, work and dedication to prove yourself. I know this goes against the saying “You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone”, but the truth is that in this case you do. How do I know? Because I had to do it.

My real-life example: I used to be very reactive with my friends based on my experience with them. If my friend Mary had a tendency to be very negative about things, I would respond to her by saying,: “I know what you’re going to say and I don’t want to hear it.” I didn’t even give her a chance to say anything because I made up my mind about what she was going to say even before she said it. My damage control with Mary was to be specific with what I wanted from her and why. “You know Mary I’m thankful for having you as a friend. I’m sorry for not giving you a chance to express your opinion. I want to know what you think about…” Mary who experienced me as someone who did the talking for her is now able to experience something new with me. But one time doesn’t change Mary’s mind. Why? Because she has experienced many more times of me speaking for her and just one of this new one. This is what I mean about “proving yourself.” You have to keep doing what you are doing in order for your friends to see that this new you is not a phase, but more than that.

Emotional Health And Work

There is a reason why more people are becoming entrepreneurs these days. It’s not just about independence, but also about co-workers and/or clients. There are so many people around you at work with their many personalities, that it can make you want to run out screaming. Don’t do that.

Here is how to apply damage control at work. Any time you encounter another person, make it clear in your mind that you are thankful for this person and for the experience you share with her or him. This one may take more effort on your part, but its worth it. There is something you can take from every single experience you have. Step back from it and look at the big picture. Know that whatever you say or do will contribute to your future encounters at work. Making a scene, regardless if the other person started it, won’t be what others see. Again, approach damage control from a preventative method.

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