Updated: Nov 5, 2018
Indeed, why should we deal with issues we don’t actually have .
Time to make sure you’re ready to counter them, as people constantly try to make their issues your problem.
I call this concept ‘fear dropping’. Fear dropping happens when people throw their fear at you, they then stop talking and watch the result on their 'fear dropping' moment on you. Sometimes, you can even read the satisfaction on their face for doing so.
I like to use life examples (mostly based on my personal experiences) to describe best my argumentation. So let me give you a quick example: My friend announces that she is expecting twins. Do a quick mental calculation of how many of your friends' first reaction would be to genuinely congratulate you and be happy for you.
And then think about how many would say OMGosh what are you going to do guys? And you can read in their eyes: I’m so pleased it’s not me.
In this concept of fear dropping, you haven’t even finished your sentence that your colleague, friend or family member is already thinking of the way they would feel if it was happening to them rather than just listen and assess the amount of support you need from them at that moment.
This article is not about ‘listening’; I’ll write an article specifically on the topic soon, as even if they are somehow linked, what I’m highlighting here is the fact that suddenly you have to deal with feelings or fears that you didn’t have a minute ago. Just because the person who crossed your way had difficulties coping with their insecurity, they dropped it on you.
Unfortunately, challenging situations are when you’ll most often notice ‘fear dropping’. The reason is that people are okay to keep their pleasant reactions and feelings for themselves.
However, when it comes to expressing negativity it becomes second nature for these people. I never seem to be doing the right thing in their eyes and when things go well, you don't hear from them.
Don’t give me wrong; I’m more than happy to support people when they are not at their best but it is not about them in that case. It is about you or someone else and they bring it back to themself, which is frustrating as not the purpose of the conversation. Therefore the conversation ends up focusing on the negative aspect of the topic and disrespect the interlocutor.
"The story was not about you my friend..."
You must have noticed that there are two folds to this article.
The first one is, if someone does ‘fear drop’ on you, don’t take it personally as it had nothing to do with you in the first place even if you started the conversation. Your interlocutor has challenges to work on, and that’s okay as not yours. You can continue the conversation as being theirs for a bit and look for an alternative ear to tell your story to.
"Don't take it personally! It has nothing to do with you and they should not influence you or your way of thinking."
Plus you don't have to listen. If you do listen, make sure you consciously take the decision to listen to them. As importantly, the person ‘fear dropping’ on you is often someone you don’t know… Like a stranger making the effort to come to tell you that your kids are misbehaving in a public place without knowing what's happening in your life.
Of course, not taking it personally takes a bit of practice at first, however, like everything with practice, it becomes easier.
The second fold to this article is that as always, start with yourself: Are you ‘fear dropping’ on people?
We all know it can be liberating ; however, be aware you’re generating negative energy and energy, good or bad, always comes back to you in the same polarity.
Are you ready to pay attention to your attitude towards people sharing their story with you. Notice when you 'fear drop', or are tempted to, and reflect on where that negative feeling comes from and if you need to work on it with your coach.
Finally, I’d like to conclude this article by saying that luckily most people don’t ‘fear drop’ and the ones who do, are unlikely doing it on purpose: their ego* talks rather than them therefore likely to be unconscious, it just became a pattern.
I'd love to read your point of view on 'fear dropping' and what your version of it would be, so please share your experience below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speak soon, Aline x
*My definition of 'ego' is based on reading Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth.