“How do I become more approachable?”

Submitted Request..

This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.

Podcast version: HERE

Quote: The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every relationship we have.

Adding to the quote:

The relationship you have with yourself is the foundation upon which all other relationships are built. If you are critical and judgmental of yourself you will be critical and judgmental of others. When I meet someone that's judgy of others I think "what's it like living with that inner bully?" The relationship to ourselves shapes the way we interact with others and influences the dynamics of our connections with friends, family, and romantic partners. By prioritizing self-love and self-care, you are better equipped to cultivate healthy, fulfilling relationships with those around you. By treating yourself with compassion, empathy, kindness and respect, you have the tools to do so for others.

Submitted Question

I recently realized that when there's a problem at work, I tend to take it personally when someone speaks to me about it. This has caused me to become defensive instead of listening to what my coworkers suggest/make an observation.

This has caused my coworkers to kind of distance themselves from me when they used to talk and laugh with me.

Maybe they think I'll get defensive or something. I wish they'd talk about my behavior but I'm not entitled to their attention.

How do I become more approachable?” 

My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.

The awareness and clarity of this is huge. Without it, you’d go your whole life blaming other people for being alone. Your world will continue to shrink due to the walls built up over time around you both from being super critical of other people but also others not wanting to share time with you.

Being defensive is a “YOU problem”, no one else's. Taking ownership and responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and behavior will change your life.

By taking ownership and responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, you are empowering yourself to make positive changes in your life. When you acknowledge that you have control over your thoughts and actions, you can start to shape your reality in a way that aligns with your deepest values and goals. I find most individuals don't know what their values even are or don't know how to articulate them. They live their life reactive to all things externally, this is no way to live and exhausting, I know that used to be me.

This self-awareness of how you react and respond to other people allows you to recognize patterns in your thinking and behavior that may be holding you back, and gives you the power to make conscious choices that lead to personal growth and fulfillment.

Now what?

Being defensive, assuming this is the issue, has served you in some way in your life, that’s how the pattern is created. In some way it’s kept you safe, protected you, and walla a habit of thought and action is created. No need to figure that out, that could take months, or even years to try and figure out and it will simply make the habit of thought bigger and reinforce it.

What do you want instead of being outcasted?

Do you want them to talk to you, laugh with you, feel safe to talk to you openly about anything? What else?

Become super clear and articulate who you want to be, what it looks like, how you act, what your body language is, the things you’re doing, saying, and what your co-workers would experience on a day to day basis.

  • What’s your tone?
  • What’s your body language?
  • What would I see you doing?
  • What’s your mood?
  • What’s your facial expression?
  • What is your attitude?
  • Is this consistent and are you able to be persistent, genuine and authentic?

Your energy walks into the room before you do.

What’s your energy?
Your energy is a powerful force that can have a significant impact on the world around you.

When you radiate positivity and light, you create an atmosphere that is inviting, exciting, and full of possibilities. People are drawn to your energy like moths to a flame, eager to bask in the warmth and joy that you exude.

On the other hand, when you allow negativity and darkness to cloud your energy, it can feel like a storm cloud hanging over your head. Your presence may bring a sense of heaviness and unease to those around you, making it difficult for them to connect with you on a deeper level, and often repelling the people that would enhance your life.

Deep listening is a valuable skill that requires constant practice and intentionality. It allows you to truly connect with others on a deeper level, gaining insights into their worldviews, perspectives, and life experiences. By actively engaging in deep listening, you can cultivate empathy and understanding, fostering meaningful relationships and creating a more. The beauty of listening to others is they will often return the gift of deep listening and open the door for you to feel heard, seen and important. Something that we all want. This could potentially make a huge impact on your work relationships.

The good news is that you have the power to choose the kind of energy you project into the world.

By being mindful of the stories and beliefs that you hold onto in your mind, you can shift your attitude and perspective in a positive direction. Choose to focus on thoughts that uplift and inspire you, rather than those that drag you down. By doing so, you can transform your energy into a beacon of light that brightens the world around you.

Increasing your awareness can provide you with a deeper insight into your inner thoughts, stories, and narratives, some of which you may not even be aware of or fully conscious.

By becoming more attuned to your own mental processes, habits, and patterns, you will see the stories you tell yourself. You can gain a better understanding of yourself and your motivations. Awareness is being more present. Slowing down and being a humanBEING, not speeding through life being a humanDOING. Embracing awareness allows you to take control of your own narrative and make positive changes in your life.

This is why it’s critical to develop a new story or relationship in your mind of how you will be when in your work environment. It must be something that you can do naturally or it will backfire and put you in a worse position than you’re currently in. That’s why I point to creating a story, or way of being that suits you, this is done by being super clear on how YOU want to feel. My words and those of other people won’t have the energy, and everyone has a unique meaning attached to words.
In any type of relationship, defensiveness can be incredibly destructive. It can hinder open communication, create unnecessary tension, and ultimately drive a wedge between individuals. I am curious to know if this is a recurring issue in your other relationships as well. Understanding how defensiveness plays a role in various aspects of your life can be enlightening and potentially help improve your relationships overall.

No one will speak to someone that’s reactive and defensive about their defensiveness, that’s a trap and a major energy drainer for someone that’s enjoying a life of peace and harmony (or however one would describe a life of happiness)

I hope this is helpful.

I wish you all the best.

Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!

If you want to send a question, please send to hello@katherine-hood.com please include: 

  • A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)
  • And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it. 

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