I answered yes to most of the questions below. Now what.
These questions bring up a problem, not just with me, but with a lot of teachers. Let’s see if you struggle as well.
Are you taking other’s comments too personally? Comments coming in from admin, students, parents, and colleagues?
Are you struggling with the past, or hyper sensitive to what will happen tomorrow?
Are you bogged down in emotional teaching muck?
Maybe you have trouble focusing. You’re agitated, anxious, stressed, and swept up in emotional sadness.
When you interact with students and parents, it can feel like an emotional roller coaster.
Suddenly, and unknowingly you’re dragged into someone else’s problems and a wave of emotional and mental exhaustion overtakes you.
It’s time to put some emotional distance between you and the emotional muck. Protect yo self!
You need to practice emotional detachment.
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Emotional detachment helps you put some calmness and balance back into your life.
The good news is, emotional detachment is a skill you can learn.
Imagine yourself wearing a stylish velcro outfit. Every time an emotional zinger comes your way and wants to stick on you, you detach it and hand it back.
When nothing sticks, you are not weighted down.
I get it, you’re inclined to help everyone and solve other’s problems.
This is your trap.
The next time you’re feeling trapped…
Try these tips:
- Ask yourself: Am I really accountable for this person’s issues?
- Learn to let go.
- Realize you can’t control the circumstances or the choices that person makes.
- Instead of giving advice, give the person the freedom to use their own powers to solve the problem.
- Remind them they have the strengths, talents and wisdom to solve the issue.
- Don’t get sucked into someone’s drama; keep a cool head.
- Use “tough love” instead of trying to fix things, enable them, or rescue; you’ll support with emotional boundaries.
- Practice setting your emotional boundaries.
- Refuse to get fired up, riled up, hot under the collar when the drama presents itself.
- Think with your head in a hard hat, instead of thinking with your heart exposed.
- Use the acronym for DETACH: Don’t Even Think About Changing Him/Her
And lastly, remember this…
Yes, compassion and empathy are virtues. But remember, your emotional detachment will keep you in the teaching profession for a long and enjoyable career.
I would be honored to hear from you. Your thoughts on this topic are important to me.
- Have you ever had to emotionally detach from a situation at school?