GHITA’S CLONE METHOD
Oftentimes, we react to events because our minds automatically make value judgements and negative assumptions. Over our lifespan, our minds make filters, schemas and all sorts of shortcuts to reduce the workload. This negative self-talk likes to pick fights, runs on old, well-used tracks of negativity, and tries to protect us from harm; even when it is wrong.
It is often not the event itself, but our response to it. A person with another perspective or alternative filters would see the same scene very differently. Also, the more self-esteem we have, the less we take things personally.
It is said that 99% of events are situational, not personal. Anger for example, is the common emotion delivered when fear is the underlying feeling. Fear of not being good enough, fear of being seen as incompetent, fear of seeming stupid, fear of not belonging, fear of being unlovable, etcetera.
A great method that I use in my practice is the CLONE METHOD. When I was young, I was very sensitive to criticism. I was always taking things personally that really had nothing to do with whether someone liked me or not. So, when I became a counsellor and learned all about schemas and filters, I invented this method – which many of my clients have adopted.
Imagine if you will, an upsetting event which occurred for you recently. Now see your part in the play. See your part being switched out for a clone. You MKII.
Replay the scene with the clone and ask yourself if it plays out the same way with your replacement.
It does? 100% the same?
So, if the person treated your clone the same way, does that mean that it was not personal?
It cannot have been personal. It was a response to the situational stresses. Chances are that you triggered their insecurities, their coping mechanisms (or lack thereof), and mental filters.
I am not saying that your part in the scene could not have been better. Or that the other person was entirely to blame. But people are not their behaviours. People can always behave better than they sometimes do under pressure.
Furthermore, using the clone method can help you to stop and consider the following:
These days, many people are time-poor, stressed out by the media and government, covid warnings, unemployment, insecure finances, and more, adding up to an unknown future. This causes high cortisol levels and less serotonin to cope with it.
We are all just doing the best we can with the coping mechanisms that we have learned.
AKA: It’s not you, it’s mental filters.
So in summary, consider your behaviour first, and if you are moderately well behaved then it is likely to be the other person’s life stressors. Try the clone method for yourself. It may just stop your fight or flight system (red flag) from going off and wasting 20 minutes to reset – or wasting hours of your mind stewing on a personal insult. Life is too short for grudges and to be angry or hurt all the time...
Ps: Check out my Anger Management page if you want to improve your temperament.