Fall Behind Their Words

August 25th, 2023 by Kelly Kienzle

The paragraph ended with “Fall behind their words.”  And that’s when the book’s whole message snapped into place in my mind.  Don’t engage with what others say when they speak harshly to you.  Instead, drop down into a space just behind their words.  Here’s what I mean…

Let the Words Fall Short

I’ve been reading The Untethered Soul and one of its central messages is that we can learn to unhook ourselves from any cruel or negative statement that is said to us.  We can step back to create a small mental space between ourselves and the other person’s words, so the attack doesn’t reach us.  Their missiles will fall short of reaching their intended destination, which is us.

For example, if I hear someone mocking the value of coaching, I can continue to listen, but I do not have to absorb what they are saying.  I can stand just outside the circle so their words will fall harmlessly to the ground.  I can remain unharmed.

I cannot keep someone from firing verbal missiles at me, but I can control the distance between us.

Yet Staying Connected

But what about the other extreme?  Do I really want to step too far back and lose connection with people?  Might their words have merit or a lesson for me?

Yes, they might.  So I need to keep connection with others, in order to be present for them and learn from them.

Here’s what I can do:  After I step back enough to fall behind their words, then I can notice what is happening for them. What is their emotion? What are their circumstances?  What load might they be carrying that causes these words to tumble out of them?

Their Words are for Them

As one of my many wise (coaching) clients said very recently, “Their words come from their past traumas.”  And so their words have nothing to do with me.  I just happen to be the person standing in front of them as they re-experience their trauma or unresolved issue.

Their words are not actually meant for me.  Their words are for themselves.

When I realize that I have very little to do with their words, then I can fall behind those words and let them pass through me like water.

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