After an hour on hold with customer service, I could feel my Attacking Protective Pattern creep into my body. My stomach felt tense, my breathing was speeding up, and I felt angry. I really wanted to let the customer service representative know how disrespected I felt. Luckily, we were communicating by chat, so I was able to erase what I had first written before I sent it. I Noticed Myself and did some Breathing Mindfully, and then was able to rewrite my comments so that I was clear and firm but still kind.
Our Protective Patterns tend to emerge when we feel unsafe, either emotionally, socially, physically, or mentally. I think my Protective Patterns emerged in that situation because I felt that my time was being wasted and thus I was being disrespected. How could I accomplish even half of what I was trying to do when I felt I was being dragged down by this “customer service time suck”?
The We Are Resilient™ approach is very useful when we feel our Protective Patterns creep in. When we notice that our Protective Pattern is not helpful–and I know that attacking a customer service rep is rarely helpful 🙂 – we can choose a Resilience Skill instead. Easier said than done, but the more we practice, the easier it gets!
With the holiday season upon us, spend some time ensuring we can be “the present that the world really needs” – our best selves. Noticing our Protective Patterns is a good first step.