Do they care about me or are they using me?

May be an image of textRelationships are give and take, right?
But is the give and take transactional or reciprocal?
We just explored this in depth in the NEW-IC Group call because the distinction is important to prevent yourself from getting used.
This is especially important to know as someone with neurodivergence. We can be trusting, and our desire to please can be used against us.
You see, someone who thinks transactionally believes theirs a spoken or unspoken agreement between you. A this-for-that agreement.
You do something for me, I do something for you. If you fail to do what you’re “supposed to” the other person will be upset with you. It’s because you’ve broken the deal and now they can’t complete the transaction.
Folks who see relationships as transactional surround themselves with people who have a specific use versus having specific values or qualities.
On the other hand, reciprocity is valuing the importance of looking out for one another. You give because you believe it’s important to do so, not because you expect something immediately in return from that person.
Ideally, you’re creating supportive relationships with people who give to you of their own will because they also value reciprocity.
The ones who take, take, take, are thinking transactionally. In there mind its going to the drive through. Why would they be concerned if the person giving them their food is also hungry, they got what they came for. Make sense?
In the NEW-IC we learn to set boundaries with transactional folks so they stop draining us. THEN, we develop the confidence and skills to build the relationships that build us up and bring us joy. Beginning with each other.
Making that shift so you have more people giving to you than asking of you is the goal. You can try doing this alone, but that’s the hard way, and you don’t have to.

Is the real problem your emotions or your execution?

Hey Fellow Neurodivergents!

There are two kinds of skills you need to learn when working to make the butterflies in your brain fly in formation.

You need skills for regulation and execution. There tends to be an overemphasis on execution. By that I mean techniques for accommodating executive functioning struggles.

Examples would be use of planners, digital calendars, alarms, note takers, post-it notes. They are concrete solutions that can be checked off the same way providing a wheelchair or a pair of glasses would be.

They address issues that most impact productivity and are therefore prioritized.

Now you can have all the skills in the world to execute, take action more effectively. But if you’re unable to regulate your emotions, anxious thoughts, tendency toward catastrophic thinking. Then you’re essentially wasting your time.

Whenever your emotions are dysregulated. Which is pretty constant when you’re neurodivergent. It’s just a matter of degree. The brain shuts off support for the prefrontal cortex which is where the executive functions live.

So the parts you need to use for execution go offline because the effort switches to trying to regulate your emotions.

Your ongoing feelings of anxiety, fatigue, brain fog, disorganization can have more to do with your prefrontal cortex being offline than it has to do with you lacking executive functioning skills.

Keeping yourself calm and focused helps keep your prefrontal cortex online, more often, so you can use the natural abilities you have. In addition to being able to apply any strategies you’ve learned.

So the solution is to learn to regulate your emotions FIRST! Things fall in line so much more easily after that. That’s why I emphasize teaching the women I coach how to calm their nervous systems while teaching them the executive functioning skills. It’s a perfect balance.

Keeping calm when they are triggered

May be an image of 2 people and indoor thing that helps you remain calm when someone has a strong emotional reaction, is to be clear who owns the reaction.
They do! A trigger isn’t a single cause resulting in a single reaction (e.g. “She said something mean, so I got mad.)
A trigger starts a chain reaction of neurological and physiological responses. Specifically in the threat detection sections of the brain.
The trigger itself is a sensory experience that reminds you of one you had during a traumatic event.
It happens in an instant in response to something that happened between you or around you when the person was triggered.
Stand firm in your intentions and your desire to do right by the other person. You never know how someone else will perceive you, even at your best.
Know that the other person is struggling to regulate their own emotions and nervous system. This can affect their ability to think clearly.
By keeping responsibility with them you’re also less inclined to want to “fix things”. Though you want to be supportive.
You want help deescalating things using the calm you’ve been able to maintain.
There are a variety of phrases you can use, each worded precisely to help them zero in on what they need. 
👉🏼 Please tell me what’s upset you just now so I can understand.
👉🏼 Did something just happen that threw you off?
👉🏼 What aren’t you talking about that’s upsetting you?
Encouraging them to define the issue in as concrete terms as possible begins the cool down. As they state their needs to someone calmly listening, it’s easier to follow suit.

How to significantly improve how to talk to yourself

raining on sidewalkWhen you want to show up more thoughtfully, patiently and helpfully for your neurodivergent child, spouse or for yourself. You really need to start with the narrator.
You know, the Narrator between your ears (your thinking mind) that tells you what’s happening, why it’s happening and who’s fault it is.
You’ve come to know your Narrator as the most trustworthy voice in your life. It tells you what to believe, what to do, who to trust and vice versa.
Is the world black and white or gray?
Is the world safe or dangerous?
Ask your Narrator.
One of the downsides of your Narrator is it is its own echo chamber. It loves listening to itself, not usually for the better.
The Narrator wants to protect you, so it’ll provide more details about obstacles than opportunities.
Some people are surprised to learn the negative way they talk to others is the same way the Narrator talks to them.
“Hold on a second Mr. King! Yes, I’m hard on myself and worry people will discover I’m secretly filled with self-doubt. But I treat people much better than I treat myself.”
Then I submit to you, your behavior in that case is the result of good social training. It’s less an authentic expression of your true feelings about the person and the moment you’re experiencing with them.
The energy it takes to keep up the facade is exhausting, isn’t it!?
How do you spot the Narrator in action?
The Narrator’s tool of choice is “should” and all its variations.
When you become aware of this, its mind blowing to discover how “should” permeates your view of the world. Like drops of rain landing on the sidewalk. They’re everywhere, touching everything.
Shoulds are competing comfort zones. Varies rules set by people who want you to adjust how you show up so they can be comfortable. I’m not talking about NEEDS here, I’m talking about preferences. Shoulds are preferences.
Unlearning the library of shoulds that have been forced upon you throughout your life is like getting an elephant off your chest.
You stop beating yourself up over little things.
You stop worrying so much about what others think.
You can be yourself around others and be authentic.
That’s peace, my friend.
That’s what I help the Women in my Inner Circle of Neurodivergence with every day.