How many of you reading this have ever felt intimidated by a supervisor or boss? How many of you have ever been the boss who felt they had to intimidate others because they felt pressured to deliver results? How many of you have ever felt silenced or disempowered in your work environment? Maybe you learned that not speaking up and getting on with things was valued over communicating about a particular problem? Maybe you know the feeling of being in a work environment that was so toxic that you didn’t feel safe to share what you were feeling or thinking? What about sacrificing creativity for the bottom-line? Or learning to tread a line between being true to your integrity and being loyal to the company?
When we are not in our safe place, a safe environment, then mistrust comes along with questions such as:
Who am I interacting with? Who can I really trust?
Where am I? Can I trust this environment?
The mind is very clever. It wants to build evidence based on how someone's behaving, and the words and tone that they're using. It's all registering in that limbic brain – Is it safe to be here or do I have to fly or fight?
This is a good question, because when we go out into the world, in many different places where we meet many different people, we get confronted with situations that can bring up a lot of things on our self-value. When we’re home alone, we can sustain this feeling of nice warmth and comfort – being in our comfort zone – and when we get out into the world, sometimes we feel that we lose it.
Shame is like a physical lockdown in the body, because it constricts us and retracts us and holds us back in life. It’s very debilitating. People will come to me a lot working with the issue around shame, because it is pervasive, it is everywhere. There’s somewhere in life that you’ve experienced shame yourself. I know it from myself. I had a hard time getting out of a shower, just looking at my body. The stuff that I said to my body… my God! It’s amazing my body still takes care of me, because I would just make every part wrong, just put it down or criticize it. It’s so horrible to do that to yourself, because then it becomes a sort of narrative of negative self-beliefs about your body and not being good enough. I felt shame to maybe go out in a swimsuit, show my body, and had some kind of beliefs about the body, and I know many of you watching, too.
When the BBC launched the Loneliness Experiment on Valentine’s Day 2018 a staggering 55,000 people from around the world completed the survey, making it the largest study of loneliness yet. Claudia Hammond, who instigated the project, looks at the findings and spoke to three people about their experiences of loneliness.
“It’s like a void, a feeling of emptiness. If you have a good piece of news or a bad piece of news, it’s not having that person to tell about it. Lacking those people in your life can be really hard.”