Resourcing ourselves as we listen to others

As I sit and listen to my husband expressing his fear and anger over the way the coronavirus is being handled, I keep “resourcing” myself.

I’m stroking my gorgeous cat, who is sitting on my lap purring, and I’m tuning into the enjoyable sensations of his fur on my skin.

This helps to keep me calm and grounded (in “Safe and Social” mode), so I can continue to listen without letting my husband’s agitation rub off on me.

If I join my husband in “Fight or Flight”, I won’t be able to listen effectively or convey a sense of safety to him. I will more likely get snappy in my responses, and we will start arguing!

So I keep some awareness on my body, noticing when I’m starting to feel stressed, and I let him know when I need a break from listening.

This is one of those situations in which I can’t really be of help to him or anyone else, if I am not regulated myself. Can you relate?

Have you found ways to “resource” yourself as you listen empathically to others who are experiencing activation in their sympathetic nervous system?

 

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