Enemy images are fixed ideas we create about others that come from a judgment of them, which often lead to blocks in our ability to empathize or connect with that person.
The holiday season is approaching and many of us will probably be spending time with loved ones. Often the ones we care about most can inspire us the most judgment and disconnection.
Here is an exercise from Francois Beausoleil, CNVC Certified Trainer and life coach, and how to help you translate some of your fiercest judgments of others into understanding and connection. Try this exercise either in your mind, or writing down the answers on a piece of paper or in your journal.
– Precise observation on an action taken by the person of which you have an enemy image (example: the person with whom you do ride-sharing arrived at least 10 minutes after the agreed time three times last week)
– Your feelings related to the observation(s) (example: I felt frustrated and stressed)
– Your needs related to these feelings (example: I’m mourning not having the peace of mind and efficiency I wanted)
– Feelings possibly present for the person (example: maybe he was stressed and overwhelmed)
– Needs related to the person’s possible feelings (example: something around wanting ease)
– Could there be a misunderstanding (example: maybe he thinks I’m flexible)
– Are you giving any meaning to the observations (example: it might mean that I will lose my job if I continue to arrive late)
– If so, is this (or these) meaning(s) necessarily true?
– Imagine a scenario that would lead you to have as close to no blame at all for the person (example: his wife just left him and he’s struggling to adapt his schedule since he’s taking care of their 2 kids one every other week)
Originally published on our blog 11/5/2012