I went the 4th session of the lifestyle course last night – see session one, two and three.

Last night was all about communication. I don’t know if it was the topic, the different leader or that there were only 3 of us, but I didn’t enjoy the session.

There is one guy who keeps talking over me and last night it upset me and I ended up sat there saying nothing for 45minutes. I was so mad at myself for not speaking out, but all I wanted to do was leave. There is one more session in a couple of weeks and I’m not sure about going, but I’ll decide closer to the time.

It is such a shame as I have found the course really helpful. I just felt worthless and rubbish and thought ‘what’s the point?’. I hate feeling like this and it impacts on how I treat other people. I turn inwards, stop making eye contact and stop communicating. I get uncomfortable and make myself small so no-one will notice me. It doesn’t work when there are only 4 people in the room and that just made me feel worse.

Last night I played the blame game. I kept blaming the guy for how I felt, but he didn’t actually know how I felt as I didn’t say anything. So although it was rude that he talked over me, he didn’t know I was upset by it.

The session was all about communication and last night I felt like I couldn’t communicate at all. This is often how I feel in my current workplace. There are lots of people trying to get the better of each other. That environment doesn’t work for me. I need somewhere where people support and encourage each other as well as have fun and laugh, but without making people feel small. This is playing a big part in the back of my mind when I am interviewing for jobs. I want to know about the team as well as the role. and it is making me weigh up the pros and cons of each interview. It’s also making it more stressful.

The main part of the session focused on assertive communication. Assertive being the balance between passive and aggressive communication. I definitely tend to be on the passive side as I hate conflict and confrontation. I’m not good at communicating when I am unhappy – as I am in work at the moment. But I also think it is a 2-way street. Having people around you that encourage you to talk helps me and this is what I haven’t got in the workplace.

I liked part of the session last night when it came to planning conversations about sensitive subjects and being able to say what you want to say. It was all about Fact, Feel, Want:

  • Fact – What actually happened? This can’t be disputed.
  • Feel – What do I feel about? This is personal to you only.
  • Want – What do I want as the outcome? Where you ask for something.

I like this approach to starting difficult conversations. It is logical and short. It allows you to get across what you want to say without interruption (hopefully) so even if nothing changes, you can be proud that you said what you wanted if nothing else. It then can’t be ignored. It will take practice and that is going to be the hard part.

This is also the bit I had really wished I tried to use last night.

I am feeling a bit lost right now. I don’t know where my life is heading and I’m scared.

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