The Way You Make Me Feel

mj 1

The title of this latest blog may prompt a faint reminisce of this well-known Michael Jackson 80s hit, and its now cringeworthy chauvinistic lyrics.  I remember doing my homework by candle light due to a power cut and I was listening to the beat and MJ’s ‘Go on girl! Aaow! Chika chika!’ on my battery-powered radio.  It was November 1987 – a month after THE Hurricane.

If you’re concerned that I’m about to dive head-first into a feminist rant, please put your fears aside.  For me, what is more poignant about this phraseology is the illogical social construction that another person has a Super Power which controls YOUR emotions.

How often do we hear these sorts of words trip off the tongue…?

“You made me so angry.”

“She made me feel stupid.”

“He makes me mad when he…”

“She makes me happy.”

Whether these expressions are used consciously or not, there is an inference and shirking of responsibility in how we choose to feel for ourselves.

If you have read any of Eric Byrne’s Transactional Analysis work (or latter Thomas A. Harris’ ‘I’m ok you’re ok’), then this may have been impactful for you as it was (and still is) for me.  Over the years, my reflections on the three ego states of ‘parent’, ‘adult’ and ‘child’ continues to stretch my self-awareness and search for equality and fairness - at home and at work.

On a personal basis I understand how to bring out the best in myself as well as understand triggers for both my child and parent modes.  Hugely empowering, I am now able to assert myself and say no comfortably.  This is because I oversee my emotional environment.  When there is a problem, I explore the problem rather than focus on the person.  I am work in progress.

Professionally, this model is a regular ‘go-to’ resource when managing conflict, change and employee engagement.  I also weave Transactional Analysis into management development training workshops, it never loses relevance and resonates strongly with delegates.

We will always find ourselves in difficult situations, yet our emotional reaction is of our own making.  It is our choice and ours alone.  We are all work in progress.

Click here for an overview of Transactional analysis

Click here to enjoy the alarming shrieking, pelvic thrusts and facial gurning of MJ with his striking choreography

I wonder if by association when you hear this song, you will think about Transactional Analysis!

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