Are you a scorcher?


I’m a hair girl. That’s my quickest, best, most satisfying, pick-me-up. A visit to the hairdresser can induce a trance-like calm and make me feel invincible.

I need that feeling quite often in my line of work and a person can’t just sit there and flick through magazines, you have to look around and be engaged. That’s how my eyes fell on the liquid roller write up from evo. (The copy-writers of evo rock!)

Reading this made me think of how often we intentionally and unintentionally, maliciously or mindlessly, singe the bejeezers out of our relationships.

All of us want smooth, harmonious, affirming relationships and yet, during the moments we feel least understood or accepted, most frustrated about trying to get our point across, totally fed-up asking for the same thing again and again, or just simply tired and teary we have a tendency to snap and snarl, roll our eyes and lose our sh…t.

And then, after we’ve calmed down, we don’t understand why those around us are feeling limp and lonely!

Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling are most likely to singe the bejeezers out of the people close to you. (Have a look at the Gottman Institute and The Four Horsemen for more information.)

It is not possible to bring your best to work if you are constantly criticised and personally attacked. It is very difficult to share experiences and ask questions if you are treated with contempt. It is almost impossible to believe that someone has your best interest at heart if they treat you with disrespect and call you names. It is taxing and frustrating to be with someone who doesn’t accept responsibility and constantly shifts blame. It is easy to feel hurt and bewildered if your partner shuts you out and refuses to engage with you.

Next time you are brushing your hair or feel like brushing the hair of those around you, think:

  1. When is the last time you criticised a person instead of complaining about an issue?

  2. Do you roll your eyes and mock the people around you when they are trying to get a point across?

  3. Is sarcasm your way of letting people know how little you think of them and their ideas?

  4. Do you defend your actions and turn to blame because you will rather shave your head than say ‘Sorry, I messed up’?

  5. Have you realized that giving someone the silent treatment doesn’t really solve the issue?

  6. Which is your fall-back position when you are tired or angry? Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness or Stonewalling?

Before you have the impulse to singe the bejeezers out of someone again. Stop, breathe and change your communication pattern!

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Tiny Empire,

37 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town

+27 82 709 7657

 naett@naett-atkinson.com

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