Banishing the Echo in Your Heart, 5 Steps for Healing

Last week’s post identified the personality trait known as echoism. Echoism is on the extreme opposite side of narcissism, but both are destructive. Narcissism is destructive to those who come into relationship with a narcissist, and echoism is destruction caused by narcissistic abuse. While getting help from a good therapist is the most effective way to rise above the damage of echoism, there are some steps that you can take by yourself to begin the healing process.

First: Make a Commitment to Your Healing

Traits of echoism include low self-esteem, poor boundaries, and a desire to be invisible. You are not a mistake of nature. You are an exceptional person. Your job is to allow that distinctiveness to come to the surface and flourish in the face of the wrong that has been done to you.

Image courtesy of Geralt on Pixabay.

Second: Allow Your Anger to Surface

  • The behavior that formed your echoism was a gross injustice to you, befitting of justifiable anger.
  • Getting angry allows you to express buried emotions and motivates your healing process.

Third: See the Situation for What it Truly Is

  • Start to identify and recognize what has been done to you that is toxic behavior.
  • Recognize and record your awesome qualities. You have many to start with, but you’ve also developed others due to your experience. You are a survivor – that in itself is a truly amazing feat. But being a survivor facilitates your developing additional empathy, patience, kindness, a loving nature, and many other admirable qualities.
  • Reclassify your perceived weaknesses into the strengths that they are.

Fourth: Celebrate Your Specialness

  • Allow yourself to feel good about who you are and your accomplishments. You deserve it. Being the best you can be is not consistently giving of yourself. It is when you give and take with honest recognition of your own capabilities.
  • Celebrating your specialness lets yourself and others know that you also recognize your worth.

Fifth: Record Your Journey in a Grief Recovery Journal

  • Start your commitment to your healing off right. Get yourself a lovely journal that you feel good about writing in. Make a pledge to yourself to write faithfully.
  • In the beginning your recordings will be the incidents where you were treated badly – the wronged actions that led you to believe things about yourself that are not true. These help you with the next two steps, getting angry and seeing the situation for what it truly is.
  • Record your emotions, no matter how ugly they may seem to you. Remember – this journal is for your eyes only.
  • As you begin to heal, you will start to record your insights into the behavior that damaged you, how you were deceived, and how you now see the truth.
  • Be sure to record your victories, your positive changes, and the attributes that make you unique and special.

As you heal, the anger will burn itself out and you will benefit from the growth that came at such a hefty price. When you slip backward, revive your journal and read how much you overcame. Feel good about yourself. You deserve it.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Recognizing the Echo in Your Heart

In Greek mythology, Echo was the nymph whose cursed life came in contact with Narcissus. She fell in love with Narcissus but her love was not returned because he was incapable of loving anyone but himself. Over the last few decades, we as a society have come to recognize the destruction that narcissistic people release on us as a whole, and individually. Only recently has the archetype of Echo been recognized as a personality. And a disadvantageous one at that.

Echo’s curse was to be silenced. She could only repeat what other people said. Her voice was lost, never to be heard again. Echoism, a term coined by Dr. Craig Malkin, lies on the spectrum opposite narcissism. Self-effacing, disempowered, voiceless, Echo lacks the ability to even see and acknowledge her own needs, much less assert them.

The Making of an Echoist

One of the traits of an Echoist is extreme empathy. A child comes into the world as a highly sensitive person. When that highly sensitive child finds him- or herself as a child of Narcissist(s), their empathy gets subverted to accommodate the needs of the parents.

An Echo blends into the background. Image courtesy of Kellepics on Pixabay.

As children, when we are raised with our needs being met, we develop a “healthy” narcissism. As we find that we are loved and cared for, we learn to love and care for others in a healthy way. Typically, in a toxic environment, the caregivers shut down certain emotions that they find offensive – anger, despair, fear, indignation, etc. An Echo is never able to develop the “healthy” narcissism it takes to address his or her own needs.

Warning Signs You Might Be An Echo

Extreme sensitivity

While in and of itself, extreme sensitivity is not a unique sign of echoism, it is a starting point for exploitation. Being highly sensitive means that you have abundant empathy. When born into an environment where caregivers use that empathy to shame or punish you for having needs, the stage is set for lifelong exploitation.

Self-effacing Manner with Low Self Esteem

Another trait of a Echo is a self-effacing personality accompanied by low self-esteem. Throughout their lives, Echoists have learned that everyone else comes first. They eagerly support others’ feelings while pushing their own aside. Losing themselves in the needs of others, often unable to even identify their own needs. Showing love, to an Echoist, means sacrificing their own needs to others in their lives. They are most comfortable when the spotlight is off of them.

Fear of Becoming Narcissistic

It’s very ironic, but another trait of an Echoist is a fear of becoming narcissistic. Ironic, because the Narcissist and the Echoist are on the extreme opposite sides of one another. Both are sensitive. The Narcissist is sensitive to his/her own feelings being hurt; the Echoist is sensitive to everyone’s feelings and emotions. The Narcissist has little to no empathy while the Echo has vast amounts of empathy.

Are you an Echo? If so, you will benefit greatly from a skilled therapist who is qualified in this area. In the meantime, my next post will give you some advice on how to address the issue yourself.

Copyright 2022, Monica Nelson

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Why are People Still Defending MSG?

I’m going to put the disclaimer up early so you know – I am sensitive to MSG. I know this because MSG will send me to bed for a week with headaches so wretched that I have prayed to end it all before enduring one more minute of pain. I am not suicidal, but I consider it a good thing that in those moments I was way too sick to consider further such a drastic solution.

Still, I read so many commentaries on how MSG’s reputation is undeserved. And I wonder why people feel so compelled to defend it so violently.

Studies have been done that show MSG as harmful. Yet, defenders suggest that not enough studies point toward harmful side effects. How much scientific evidence do you need? Here’s one to consider.

Appetite Stimulant

For your health . . . just say “no.”

My surprise at actions like the one above doesn’t end there. The food industry seems to have a love affair with MSG. Food manufacturers put MSG in almost every processed food you can find. Seasonings, salad dressings, sauces, lunch meat, canned vegetables, and soups. Anything that comes to you in a can, a box, a package of any kind will more likely than not contain MSG.

Why is it necessary to add it to every product they put on the market?

Here’s my theory. MSG increases appetite. There is evidence to support that. If you eat their product, then you find yourself longing for more. Hence, you buy more. Instant boost in sales.


It’s bad enough if it ended with that simple ploy. But add to that another little anomaly. MSG is not simply monosodium glutamate anymore. It can be found listed under numerous pseudonyms. In fact, I have compiled for myself a list of almost 100 “alternative” names for MSG. Here is a sample list. Ask yourself why they feel the need to do this.

When I first discovered this fact, I went through my kitchen looking at labels. The only place I could find “MSG” listed as an ingredient in my kitchen was an old spice bottle (which was tossed immediately). Yet, this was not the only suspect food that I tossed, as those foods had ingredients on my pseudonyms list. I know to be very, very careful with the ingredient list of any food at the grocery store other than straight-from-the-field foods.

Real Food Tastes Good

The processed food industry has done the public a huge disfavor. Claims of healthy benefits like vitamin fortification, low fat, low carb, etc. are misleading. Foods like baked goods and fried foods contain trans fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, trans fat hits you with a double whammy for heart health. Increasing your “bad” cholesterol while lowering your “good” cholesterol at the same time.

These are foods that have been put forward as good for you, yet they are far away from the way nature has prepared them for our consumption. We have been slowly pulled away from the kind of basic eating that nature intended by the food industry. And you can bet that a majority of those items are made more enticing by MSG.

The truth is that if we could break away from the temptation of processed foods and get back to basics (minus seasonings that contain MSG), we would find that the foods nature intended are just as delicious.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Because of my sensitivity, my body feels the ill effects of MSG so strongly that I have changed my diet back to the one nature intended. If your body has a sensitivity, you probably have too. To those who don’t feel it so strongly, the motivation is not so obvious. But it still produces harmful effects. Your choice may be harder to make. I hope this reminder will help you say “no” to the MSG defenders.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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How to Deal with Rageful People

Several years ago, I needed to pick up glasses from an optical dispensary desk. The open room was part of a larger space that included a busy reception area, doctors’ offices, and large glass cases of sample eyewear. There were many people waiting their turn in the small section in front of a counter where two workers were assisting customers.

A path cut across the dispensary’s portion of the room where the carpet was worn. I approached the area and stood in the high traffic path for a moment, until I noticed people walking directly toward me. Deciding I was in the way on this much-used path, I made one step into the crowd so the people on the path could move past me. Immediately, a women close by yelled so loudly that people in the crowd turned to look at her, “Hey! No cutting in line.”

Being an HSP, this rattled me to the bone.

Aggression courtesy of Matryx on Pixabay.

We live in an angry world. People, afraid that something or someone is going to get the better of them, are lashing out at any perceived slight without restraint. And they are doing so with great intensity. Creating volatile situations.

As highly sensitive people, we abhor violence of any kind. The force with which angry people attack can throw us off balance and overwhelm our already stimulated nervous systems. Here are some ways that you can prepare for the inevitable.

Get Yourself into the Right Frame of Mind

You can’t avoid rageful people. There will always be rageaholics in our midst. But there are strategies that you can use to minimize their effect on you. If you are prepared, you can reduce their effect on your mind and body.

A calm state of mind and practice will satisfy this first component. Here are some articles that you might find useful in achieving that calm state of mind:

The second part of this formula is practice. As you deal with people using your strategy, you will become more proficient. There is no shortcut for experience. Remain patient, follow your plan, and it will get easier.

Determine if You are Dealing with Legitimate Anger or Lashing Out

There is a difference between someone becoming angry with you because of a legitimate cause and someone who is “dumping” on you their accumulated rage. Rageful people typically fall within this second description. If you are the target of misplaced anger in the form of rage, you must have a strategy to confront that danger.

Create an Effective Strategy

An effective strategy has some crucial elements: controlling your reaction and confronting the issue in a noninflammatory manner.

  • Master Your Reaction: Get and stay calm. If you have previously created a tranquil state of mind, you’ll already be there. Pause to gather your thoughts before moving onto your response. Resist the impulse to mirror their rage.
  • Face the Situation Directly but Without Hostility:  Be assertive, but not aggressive in your manner of response. Speak firmly, but respectfully. Keep your voice low-key while stating your point. This in itself can trigger a de-escalation of the situation.
  • Refuse to be Drawn into Fierce Conflict: If the rageful person continues on their destructive path, ask them to leave or leave yourself. Nothing can be gained from continuing to allow yourself to be raged at.

My strategy in the above situation was to pause for a moment as I calmed myself. This gave me the ability to look her directly in the eye and answer calmly but firmly, “I was simply getting out of the way. You’re still ahead of me.” To which she made no response.

In a perfect world, we would not have to be around rageaholics. Since this is impossible, our best defense is to have a strategy in place to deal with them. My hope is that the above advice will help you find peace with the rageful people you encounter.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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Words that Wound, and What To Do About Them

As an HSP, no doubt you’ve heard the words “Don’t be so sensitive,” many times. It seems to be a mantra that certain people like to throw out to us. Most of the time, these are people who don’t care who they wound (energy vampires, narcissists, and jerks). But sometimes they are an exasperated response from people who do not understand highly sensitive people and who think that they are being “helpful” to this person whose sensitivity they do not understand.

Regardless who the words come from, these words and others can wound. They are especially destructive to us so it is something we need to be aware of and to thwart as much as we can.

Words Wound More Than We Ever Thought

You probably remember the childhood response to the neighborhood bully, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” The earliest recorded instance of this was in 1862, but it is believed that it was a well-established saying before then. So, this sentiment has had a long period of time to sink into our vernacular, as well as our hearts.

Words that Wound an HSP
“You’re Too Sensitive.” Images courtesy of Clker-Free-Vector-Images and Truthseeker08 on Pixabay.

Fast forward a century and a half. Science has now discovered that this belief isn’t true. Emotionally charged words really do hurt. A study out of Germany found that words describing pain, such as “excruciating” or “grueling” triggered a sense of pain before that pain was felt. The finding suggests that the words themselves could activate the corresponding sensation.

The entire human race is hardwired to feel pain from words alone. Now, add sensitivity on top of those words. An HSP, getting the message from an early age that their sensitivity is a bad thing, will take that message to heart. Each reenforced occurrence of that message compounds its meaning to us. Making the message a very difficult one to clear from our psyche.

It is possible to overcome that misbelief. Here are some tips to put it aside and keep it in perspective.

Remember Dr. Aron’s Message

You are not doing anything wrong by being yourself. Dr. Aron’s research and life’s work has brought this message to the forefront. We are different. Not superior, but definitely not inferior. We simply are made differently, so we respond differently. It is gift. Not something to be chastised for.

Consider the Whys

I touched on this earlier. Some people think they are in some way being “helpful” to point out to us that we are sensitive. These are the naïve folks who have no understanding of who we are and those traits that make us different. The worst scenario is those who intend to wound us with their words. As a sensitive, you probably feel some of their pain and shame that drives their actions. And, of course, you can empathize with them. When you reflect on this viewpoint, your compassion takes over.

Refuse to Ruminate

You increase the negativity when you ponder hurtful words. Reliving and rehearsing painful word scenes over and over only opens a deeper wound. You can conquer this with your strength. Refuse to give in to the temptation to ruminate.

Words are hurtful. They are especially hurtful to an HSP. We are prone to feeling extreme hurt as part of our personality. But if we become aware of and practice the above, we can lessen the impact of hurtful words.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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Developing Your HSP Sense of Wonder

Peter, an HSP, fell into despair – a hopelessness so marked that two counselors labeled him “clinically depressed.” He didn’t understand what was happening to him. As an HSP, he spent decades doing what most highly sensitive people do: absorbing the pain that surrounded him and responding empathically to the negative sensory input he was taking in. Unaware of the harm, his peace of mind began to suffer. Without appropriate self-care, his emotional health was declining. Read his story here.

We as HSPs are so busy caring for others, our communities, and the world, that we do not always look after ourselves properly. Without suitable emotional healing, we fail to be our optimum selves. One of the most important, and often overlooked means of self-care for the highly sensitive person is to maintain our fascination into the mysterious. It is critical to our overall health.

Peter completely lost his sense of awe and wonder. It was what he needed to restore his mind-set. While Peter’s case may be extreme, it should serve as a warning to the rest of us. Here are some ways in which you can maintain your sense of wonder so you don’t fall into the same trap that Peter did:

Develop a sense of wonder
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Explore an Area of Study That You Know Nothing About

Have you always had an interest in Scandinavian cooking? History of the American West? Belly dancing? Astrology? Origami? Bird watching? Kite building and flying? Whatever grabs your interest! Investigating a passion that you know nothing about is a good way to spark your curiosity.

Ask “What if” and “Why” Questions

Choosing a “what if” or “why” question to ponder is a great way to inspire amazement. You may even want to keep a journal of your wonderings. Here are a few to get you started:

  • What if there were no sadness?
  • What if you could find a cure for a disease?
  • What if you could start your life over?
  • Why is red the color you see?
  • Why is it so important to have purpose in your life?
  • Why don’t we use all our brain power?

Learn to Play Like a Child

A child’s job is to learn about the world around them. Their whole being is fascinated with the smallest of details about life. They go about their jobs with wild abandonment, without care of what people might think. In their play, they use creativity, develop imagination, and explore their emotions. As we grow, we forget how to play. Life becomes a litany of work and unfinished tasks. There is no greater way to spur on your own wonderment than to add play to your life.  

Convert Dreams to Stories

Immediately upon waking, write down those crazy dreams that occupied your night. Later, take a look at your dreams and make up a story about them. Write your story down. Let your imagination loose. Take your story in any direction it wants to go. It doesn’t have to be good and you don’t have to show it to anyone. Let the stories trigger your amazement.

Investigate Phenomena that Science Cannot Explain

There are many experiences that science has yet to explain: consciousness, certain workings of the mind, near death experiences, the possibility of alien abduction and reincarnation, the existence of God. To delve into these topics requires you to expand your thought beyond what can be known at present. As you ponder these subjects, allow your mind to reach into that beyond.

These are only a few suggestions. There are many ways to keep your curiosity and awe at peak performance. Use whatever form of wonder inspiration you identify with to keep this important part of you alive and functioning.

I am curious in the ways you keep your wonder active. Please share in the comments below.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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Using Your Peacemaker’s Understanding – A Sought After HSP Trait

If you’ve begun to learn about your highly sensitive nature, and especially if you have delved into that learning for some time, you are intimately familiar with the failings and rewards of being an HSP. You are probably also aware that your traits have existed since the cavepeople days. HSPs have been instrumental in the survival of our species.

Down through history starting with our Neandertal community, we were vital to the life of the entire tribe. We were the ones who had a keen sense of our surroundings and the dangers that existed there. Noticing all the subtleties of our environment. We were the innovators who helped advance our society. And we were the peacekeepers.

It’s that last one that is at the forefront of today’s priorities. We are living in a time of great division and animosity. We need to bring our gifts of empathy, conscientiousness, awareness of nuances in human behavior, high emotional quotient, and ability to intimately connect with others to the forefront.

Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay

It is a well-known fact that highly sensitive people tend to gravitate toward deeper interpersonal relationships. We abhor the superficial and seek out the more intimate forms of relationship. We treasure our emotional connection to others and work on building rapport with those we care about.

Given our ability to read others’ moods and sense their feelings within ourselves, we have a certain intuition and insight into people whose viewpoints differ from our own. We can better sense the fears that drive assumptions. And flaws in perception that fuel fallacy.

This puts us in a place of neutrality where we can understand both sides of an argument. Where we can plainly see false assumptions on both sides of the issue. Where we can understand where each side gets their position. Then, using our peacemaker’s traits described above, we can serve as a conduit toward a final solution all can get onboard with.

Some excellent ways to serve in this capacity are:

  • As a mediator;
  • Negotiator;
  • Arbitrator;
  • Ombudsmen;
  • Policy Analyst;
  • Contract Negotiation Manager;
  • Conciliator;
  • Jobs having to do with insurance claims – appraisers, adjusters, examiners, investigators; and
  • Support jobs like fact-finders.

If working full time as a peacemaker is not your style, volunteer wherever there is tension between two or more distinct sides. You can also use your gift by writing letters to your congressmen/congresswomen or to editorial sites. When you feel strongly about an issue, get involved.

The world needs your peacemaker traits. You have the ability to change minds with the type of understanding HSPs are best at. Change minds and you change the world.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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Navigating the Urge to Mend Others

Your empathy shines. As an HSP, people in- and outside your circle have found you out. You are the one they go to for a sympathetic ear combined with compassion and understanding. This is one of your most cherished gifts.

Another of your gifts is the ability to notice subtleties. Those minute cues about a person that pass most people by. The cues that tell you more about a person than their own words confess. And reveal hidden meanings.

On top of that you absorb another’s mood or emotion as you come within their space. Feeling it deep within your body as if it belonged to you. There is no greater comprehension than first-hand knowledge.

Combined, your traits provide a service to others few people can furnish. The act of listening to another’s troubles alone brings comfort. Your understanding words add support to a hurting soul. Other people clearly benefit from your willingness to give of yourself.

While this is an optimal situation for hurting people, it can be difficult in many ways for an HSP. In addition to the overwhelm and stress it can cause, these very traits that make it optimal for the person being helped makes it a challenge for the HSP.

Mend the Urge
Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

This is because those traits blur the boundaries between you and that other person. We are so porous, and our compassion so strong, when those boundaries blur, we want to fix that other person’s problem. This is a violation for both people.

How do you draw the line which divides your help and encouragement from their right to own their lives?

One: Recognize that Each Person has a Right and Responsibility for their Own Lives

It is not your responsibility to fix someone. The ultimate responsibility of each of us is to make our own decisions in life. When we accept this principle, we learn to respect another person’s choices and their right to make the critical mistakes that need to be made to learn. We allow them to do the work they need to do to mend their own lives. And we give them back the joy and satisfaction that comes with a job well done.

Two: Accept the Status Quo

All things happen for a reason.  And everything happens for the good of everyone involved. You may not realize all the details of a dilemma or fathom what background circumstances are going on. Accepting that there is a universal force keeping all in order allows you to step back and know that everything is as it should be.

Three: Restore Your Own Mindset

Being overly responsible for someone else is a burden. It plays havoc with your mind. Allow the concerns that don’t belong to you to leave your psyche. Stay centered. Ways to do this are through solitude, meditation, getting plenty of rest, calming your inner helper, and forgiving yourself.

As HSPs, we all have the ability to see into the pain that surrounds us. But responding to that pain, if left unchecked, can hinder and challenge our own happiness and lives. Practice your gift. But learn to navigate the urge to mend others by taking the steps necessary to protect yourself.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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How Should I Explain my “Overwhelm” to a Non-HSP?

I recently made the mistake of using the term “overwhelm” wrong. During a discussion where I was asked if I needed any support, I mentioned to a supervisor that I was feeling a bit “overwhelmed.” My reason for stating this was because the workload at that time was massive and the deadlines were tight. Without digging into exactly why I felt overwhelmed, my supervisor suggested that I take advantage of the company’s employee assistance program.

My supervisor’s helpful response was not helpful. While I believe wholeheartedly in the power of talking to professionals when mental health issues arise, it was not a mental health crisis I was dealing with. It was an “overstimulation” situation. It was the chaos and pressure deadlines that were causing my stimulated nervous system to increase my stress. And with the added stress, cause me to get flustered and make more mistakes.

I cannot blame my supervisor. She is a non-HSP and has no frame of reference for what I was going through. And what’s worse is that I didn’t know how to respond. This caused me to make a change. I didn’t want to find myself in another situation like this. So here is my plan:

Make Everyone Aware of Sensory Processing Sensitivity and Its Relationship to HSPs

Sensory processing sensitivity is the term used to describe the highly sensitive personality trait which HSPs share. Having SPS means that my nervous system is more sensitive to stimuli coming into it at every moment.  It is a genetic personality trait, not a disease that needs medical treatment.

Being highly sensitive has advantages and disadvantages. It is important that everyone become aware of us because we comprise 15% to 30% (depending upon the research) of the population. The corporate world is beginning to acknowledge our existence, and to take advantage of our strengths in the workplace.

And, of course, I will be sure to tell others, “Hey, I’m one of these people.”

Grow in my Knowledge

New research is being done every day. New folks are discovering their sensitive natures and sharing their experiences with it. There are whole communities growing up to help support and educate one another. It is truly an exciting time to be highly sensitive, and one in which we can access information about ourselves. I plan to take advantage of that.

Stop Being Afraid to Share That Knowledge

As many HSPs, I grew up feeling ashamed of my sensitive nature. I was accused of being “too sensitive” as a means of control and put down for my obvious sensitivity. Knowing no different, I believed them. This deeply ingrained misbelief is not an easy one to change. But I remind myself daily that it is who I am, and that it is good for me. That because of it I have wonderful traits that help others and the world at large. I revel in this knowledge and want to see my brothers and sisters recognize their gifts also. Sharing knowledge helps me, and it helps others.

When a Misconnect Occurs, Correct It

After I have done all this, it will not be so awkward when a non-HSP reacts as described above. I have the empathy to explain the miscue tactfully, and the insight to know that letting the rest of the world in on who we are and how we are different only helps move our world into a more understanding and tolerant place to be.

I now have a plan to address the question, “How should I explain my “overwhelm” to a non-HSP?” I hope this plan is helpful to you also.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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When You Can’t Escape the Cruelty; 3 Tips to Cope

The world can be a cruel place for a highly sensitive person. Especially now, narcissists and energy vampires seem to be coming out in droves. They are all around. Escape from their presence is the preferred way to go. Your go-to response should be leaving abusive relationships, finding another job, turning off the media’s rhetoric of hate (Bdelygmia), or otherwise putting distance between you and the aggressor.

But if you can’t do that, or you can’t do that right now, you need an alternate approach. A strategy that allows you a mental disconnect if you cannot have a physical one. Here are three strategies that I use:

One: Practice Love

I want to be clear to start with here. I am not suggesting that you condone what is inappropriate behavior. Cruelty is never acceptable. But there is little to no hope that someone who is cruel on a regular basis will see their behavior as wrong. You gain nothing by responding with cruelty of your own. It only fuels their response and increases their anger.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

As an HSP, you have an advantage. You can sense their moods, understand their motives, and intuit their triggers. What fires their rage? Using that knowledge, avoid setting them off. A calm, yet strong voice of reason works to still their emotion and keep the situation from escalating. If the situation is beyond that and the former doesn’t work, be silent. Cruelty cannot get a stranglehold in the face of a loving response.

Two: Look for the Lesson

Whatever happens in life has a reason for doing so. We live our lives in relationship for a reason, and that reason is that we grow through those interactions. Patience, endurance, and love are only a few of the general lessons you can learn. A specific event happens as it does for a specific reason. It’s your job to understand why. Your extensive ability to process those intents on a deeper level will give you the advantage and help you grow through it.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Three: Turn to Gratitude

There is always someone who is worse off than you. And here’s the kicker – it’s that person who is being cruel. Cruelty arises from hate. How sad it is to be in a frame of mind that all you can see and feel is animosity, acrimony, and antagonism. You know how negative emotions like that make you feel within your heart. Be grateful for the peace of mind that gives you freedom from the torture of a hate-filled mind.

Remind yourself of the joys you experience. Give thanks for your peace. Write in your gratitude journal all that is good in your life. Restore your soul.

If you are having trouble being grateful, sit quietly and do the Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness, Ho’oponopono. After clearing your mind in meditation, repeat “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” Continue the chant for five minutes, or longer if you like. This transformative prayer works wonders in restoring your soul’s balance and resetting your mind.

Cruelty is all too prevalent in today’s lifestyle. Fight it with love and gratitude. You may feel like you are losing the cruelty battle, but in the end, you are winning the war.

Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson

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