Verbal Immunity Check-up

 

The strength in knowing a weakness

If you have a physical weakness and are in a fight, it would only be natural to shield or hide the weakness from the attacker. The thing is, it’s usually a lot easier to recognize a ‘dodgy knee’ or a ‘bad back’ than it is to identify an emotional weakness such as ‘discomfort when people criticize my work’ or ‘anger when my integrity is questioned’, and so on.

Verbal Aikido doesn’t deal with physical attacks, and only very rudimentarily with the movement and management of our physical body. We therefore use the term emotional body and work on how we manage it and shield it from harm. In the questionnaire below, not only can you give your emotional body a ‘verbal immunity check-up’ to detect some of your weaknesses, but you can also either start to learn how to shield them effectively or even better, heal them.

A verbal immunity check-up (coming soon in a more user-friendly version!)

Rate yourself as sincerely as possible in the following questionnaire using the following marking system:

0 = it is never a problem,

1 = it would rarely get a reaction from me,

2 = it can be uncomfortable,

3 = it can be pretty irritating,

4 = it can really get on my nerves,

5 = it generally makes my blood boil.

Your reaction, either at the time of the attack or after the event, may of course change depending on who the ‘someone’ below is. If you’re unsure, just take it to be the first person you think of when you read the suggestion and answer accordingly.

1.     Someone expresses a dislike for a film/singer/sports team that I really like…
2.     Someone talks about a friend of mine or someone close to me distastefully…
3.     Someone regularly makes excuses for their incompetence…
4.     Someone disagrees with a project or plan I spent time on, without really understanding it…
5.     Someone blames me for something I that didn’t do or that wasn’t completely my fault…
6.     Someone changes subjects to avoid answering my questions…
7.     Someone criticizes my physical appearance (body shape, hair, clothes, accessories, etc.)…
8.     Someone criticizes my work…
9.     Someone tries to imitate mockingly the way I say or do things…
10. Someone calls me insulting names…
11. Someone laughs condescendingly at remarks that I make…
12. Someone tries to prove that my position or idea is not valid…
13. Someone criticizes an accomplishment or creation of mine (an award, a child, etc.)…
14. Someone insinuates I’m not who I actually am…
15. Someone changes my words around to make me look bad…
16. Someone criticizes the things I believe in…
17. Someone compares me to another person …
18. Someone makes a negative judgment on my values or actions …
19. Someone talks about things I’ve done but that I just want to forget…
20. Someone attempts to humiliate me…

If you scored 0-33:

Your Inner Smile is already considerably well-developed. This will serve you immensely in defusing most situations. It would nevertheless be worthwhile noting your highest scoring situations to be able to anticipate attacks in these areas. You can use the exercises in chapter 7 in the book, or get training to increase your immunity to them.

If you scored 34-66:

You have developed a means to remain relatively serene when faced with many verbal attacks. However, the situations that scored the highest, need awareness and protection – take note of them.  They can be worked on with a partner in sparring in order to develop a shielding strategy and decrease the impact of such an attack.

If you scored 67 or more:

There are many ways to reduce the irritations and their intensity, and to take control of the way you react to a given attack. The bonus chapter, at the end of the Green-belt book, is a source of some practical and easy-to-implement tools that can empower you to channel differently or take the bite out of your reactions. You should also take note of the highest scoring situations from the questionnaire – they can be worked on in the practical sparring exercise. You can also take note of the situations that scored the lowest, and use them as your target for the level of ‘orange eyes’ serenity that you aim for with the other difficulties.

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