I have a very visceral shame reaction when I am scolded by a boss. Every job has been this way.
I am learning to process my shame reaction, and see that is ok, that I can let it come without beating myself up for feeling it so immediately and deeply. It is interesting we can choose our thoughts but not our feelings. At least for me I have not been able to break the cycle quickly. When I find myself confronted/scolded, my body starts to shake and my stomach drops. As I talk myself down and try to observe myself and my thoughts, it reduces the strong sensations only slightly and it takes me hours to finally let it go and get my brain back so I can move on with my day.
For example. I put out a group work text today as requested by a coworker. Within 15 min my leader texted me that I should not have done that without the coworkers permission (she did not realize I had the coworkers consent, my bad, I did not start the text by saying Brenda asked me to share this information with the team), that the entire department had not been included in the text (as per request of the Brenda) and that she needed to meet with me when I came into the office next week.
I knew she didn’t have all the information. Yet, I felt guilty and immediately started to question myself as being a bad person. I was dumbstruck, both with shame and embarrassment for her, and possibly the team, thinking I was sending the text w/o Brenda’s permission. I felt misjudged and horrified. I quickly responded to my boss that Brenda edited the text and requested I send it to that select group. My boss responded she was taken off guard. She asked me not to forward the text to anyone else. (Like who would I send it to, I asked myself…again, rage driven by shame and feeling scolded and told to be quiet). Moral of the story, it took me 6 hours to get my brain back. I have been in a fog and totally unproductive and self distracted by my mind and visceral symptoms all afternoon. I realize it is not helpful to judge myself and so I am stepping back, seeing myself judging myself and my boss and then trying to let that go too.
What step am I missing that I can’t turn my emotions around faster. Hand tremors for 3 hours and mind spin/fear feels unreasonable.
C: Boss texts words
T: I hate her!!!! How dare she insinuate I am a gossip!
A: passive aggressive text response thanking her for looking out for my coworkers privacy but correcting her that she edited it and asked me to send it, adding an addendum to the group text to let everyone know Brenda edited the text and asked me to send, question myself that I am a gossip, side text another coworker to call me and then did not answer the phone cuz I realized then i would be a gossip if I told her what just happened, ruminate, talk to my daughter about it, then talk to my husband about it
R: I am embarrassed to go to the office next week ( I was home today)
C: Boss texts words
T: I trust myself and my actions
F: supportive of Brenda
A: Update my boss and the group that I was asked to send the text by Brenda, let it go as an honest misunderstanding, stop judging my boss and stop judging myself
R: move on with my day
I feel like I have good insight in making the models to change the thought but doing that still couldn’t get me past the shaking hands and mind spin, even after a 3 mile fast pasted walk with my dog. I tried listening to SCS calls but my mind could not focus, I realized I had no idea what the callers were saying. I tried to sit with the feelings and welcome the learning. I tried to see all sides of the story.
Any insight would be helpful. thank you!!