Coping mechanisms from the past hindering the present

Stand down, I got this!

He talks a mile a minute and even though I’m quite the energetic walker myself, I struggle to keep up with his ‘bouncy-want-to-run-but-will-try-to-walk’ pace. Whilst I think it he adjusts his pace to mine.

You always talk this much and walk so fast? I ask him. ‘According to my wife you’ll find my picture in the dictionary at “overly energetic and observant”, which is totally true, no point in denying that. That is also what brought me to you. I wish I could regulate the amount of energy I have and the way I always seem to be on. It sometimes gets in the way of things, at work, with my team, at home. And when I read your posts about coping mechanisms from the past hindering you in the present I wondered whether that is the case with me?’
‘Ok, wow, you are already 3 steps ahead in the process!’

Whilst we continue walking, he shares memories from his childhood. He adores his parents and younger sister, family means everything to him. ‘So why did you always have to be so alert?’ I ask him.

His eyes turn sad and he looks like a little boy when he tells me his father suffered from depression and had episodes when he would stay in bed all day. At a young age he learned to recognize the onset of the depressed moods his dad had and he would step in. Taking care of his little sister, helping his mom, until his dad would feel better and would tell him to ‘be a kid again’.

‘My dad never asked me to help out, I just knew when to step up, so I did. And that is probably what I still do right? I still step up when I feel it’s needed, for my team, my wife and son and I don’t seem to be able tone it down, it just happens.

‘You were so attuned to your surroundings as a small boy your ‘antenna’ are hypersensitive, you probably know someone is in need of something before they are aware of it themselves.

‘Yes, exactly, that is the part when my wife or colleagues tell or yell at me to ‘Stand down, I got this!’
I’d like to learn to stand down myself, so others don’t have to tell me and I give them space to do it themselves.

And so we get to work on acknowledging his hyperalertness, so he can consciously tone it down and stand down in the future.

More than Words Coaching and Training

Similar Posts