What just happened to me?

Looking back at an old journal of mine, I was greeted by the first word on the first page: BETRAYED! And yes, the story that follows contains the amount of cringeworthy drama you might expect. But is also tells a story about being blindsided. It’s a story about thinking someone was my friend but discovering that they were not.

Just last week something similar happened. I was blindsided. I went into a conversation expecting one thing and was shocked to find something totally different. I felt attacked, judged, and mistreated. While I remained mostly calm throughout the conversation, I had a bunch of big feelings swirling around that I had to work through. Which led me to some thoughts to share.

Here are my three tips for handling a blindside experience.

1. Be prepared to talk about it.

2. Be prepared to listen.

3. Be prepared to give yourself grace.

Be prepared to talk about it.

I realized I had to talk about it. I had to get it out of my head and process it with other people to understand what I just experienced. When you’re blindsided, your brain is going a mile a minute adapting to what is happening. Talking it through after the fact helps you name the details, emotions, and consequences of the experience.

Be prepared to listen.

Once I was done verbally vomiting out my experience, the feedback I received was very helpful. I needed to have my feelings validated. I needed to be understood. But I also needed to be challenged to see things that I wasn’t seeing. Listening helps you have an outside perspective that will add to a greater understanding of your experience.

Be prepared to give yourself grace.

Remember, you’ve experienced a traumatic event. These tips are designed to help us grow through the experience, but we need to resist any temptation to grade ourselves on how we’ve handled it. I experienced a buffet of emotions that I needed to go through. I had some longwinded moments. I had some petty moments. I needed to give myself grace and allow my imperfections.

How do you handle being blindsided? What tips would you give?

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