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Dealing with the Unacceptable Actions of Others

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Here’s how to tackle the causes of emotional energy drain and how to deal with the unacceptable actions of others.

One Thing to Think About
Human beings thrive on interaction. The most beautiful experiences we’ll have in our lives will likely involve our connection with others. Unfortunately, some of the most difficult or traumatic experiences in our lives become part of our experience as a result of our interaction with other people.


An unacceptable behavior is an improper or inappropriate action directed at you by another person, which causes you to have a negative emotional response. Examples of an unacceptable behavior include a family member snubbing you at an event, a co-worker spreading a rumor about you at the office, or a friend repeatedly standing you up when you commit to seeing each other.

One Question to Answer
Where are you allowing the unacceptable actions of others to drain your emotional energy? Take inventory of the people in your life and the experiences that stand out for you. If you discover that you have unresolved emotions around a person or event, move through the six-step model below to support you in reaching closure.

One Challenge to Take
Six-step process for dealing with the unacceptable actions of others:


Step One: Describe the event or experience. What happened and why isn’t this okay?


Step Two: Connect with your emotions. How did this experience make you feel?


Step Three: Identify what needs to happen for you to feel finished with your experience. Do you need to have a conversation with the person? Do you want an apology? Do you simply need to connect with your own emotions?


Step Four: Get clear about your resolution path. If the situation involves another person, do you want him or her in your life or would you like to end the relationship? Do you feel a need to talk with the person about the incident, or would you prefer to put your feelings down on paper?


Step Five: Allow yourself to fully feel the emotions that exist at the core of this issue. Let yourself be angry. Let yourself be sad. Many times, an emotion needs to be fully felt before you can let it go. Give yourself permission to experience and release your emotions.


Step Six: Take action. Write the letter. Have the meeting. Do whatever you feel you need to do to reach closure.


In some instances, a repetitively inappropriate person may need to be removed from your life. In other instances, the person you’ve communicated with may work to change his or her behavior. The outcome of your acknowledgement and communication is much less important than your willingness to reclaim your emotional reserves.

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