Emotional Triggers: Relationships with Those in Authority

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September 11, 2014 | No comments yet

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by:  Staci Stallings

Here’s a topic sure to make some of you have a rise in blood pressure.  What emotional triggers do you experience around those in authority?

I’m talking about bosses, supervisors, police, even clergy and government workers.

Are you calm as can be when one of these people start pushing your buttons?  Do you fall apart?  Do you get angry?  What is your default response when dealing with authority?

This is important because first, these people may well wield considerable influence in your life.  Second, you probably can’t control them. Third, their life is probably stressful as well, and oftentimes, they’ve been taught that it’s okay to take that stress out on you!

Think for a minute about your boss or supervisor.  Does this person set things up so you succeed or so you fail?  Do they build you up or put you down?  Do they treat others roughly the same or is there a pecking order and you’re not high on the list?

All of these can bring up default responses.

What happens when you make a mistake and the boss call you on it?

I was telling a friend the other day that in school we are taught that mistakes roughly equal death.  So we are loathe to make them.  We will refuse to try new things for fear of making them. And that keeps us locked in a cage of never taking risks and stepping out.

I have been in situations where the employees were terrified to do anything out of square.  They were skittish and unsure of themselves and their decisions.  And it was clear this was a direct result of working under someone who punished mistakes as if they came from hell itself.

They don’t.

Everyone makes them.

Things happen–even with the best of intentions.  They just do.

You’re going to send the letter out and then realize it had a typo in the third paragraph. (I saw a FB meme the other day that said, “I do my best proofreading after I hit SEND.” So I know it’s not just me.)

You’re going to send the email and then realize it wasn’t overly clear.  You’re going to pick up the wrong color or the wrong size or the wrong kind.

You’re going to go to the post office only to come back and the letter that really needed to go will be right there.

See, bosses make mistakes too, but when they get on a power trip or think that them making a mistake is not allowed, they will go to all kinds of crazy lengths to get you to BELIEVE that they never make mistakes.

And it’s such a silly, stupid game.

We all make mistakes.

So if your boss or authority figure is playing the game to make you lose, understand that although you’re dealing with the problem, it is still THEIR problem.  Don’t take on the label failure (default response) just because it’s handed to you.

I think this is one area that it’s really helpful to be locked in with God and what He thinks about you (He love, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVES YOU!)

Don’t let someone else make the decision of if you are worthy, worth it, and accepted.  They don’t get a vote.

Put out your best work.  If you make a mistake, own up to it.  But don’t base your work and your defaults on if you get everything perfectly right.

Respect authority, but don’t bow down to it and give it the right to decide your worth.

You will be thankful you didn’t.

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