To Heal You & Avoid Nasty Confrontation
We have all had encounters with ‘nasty pasties’ (for this article we’ll call them ‘trigger peeps‘), which leave us shaking in our boots. Sometimes there are tears. Other times we are seething with anger and wanting to issue death threats.
Maybe that’s just my mean girl surfacing!
One of the best tools I have ever used both personally and professionally is the ‘f*ck you letter‘.
This tool helps me (and it will help you too), to identify what it is I’m feeling. The true nature of why I’ve been triggered. I get to safely express out all of the negativity from inside me — because who wants crap inside of them?
The act of writing the f*ck you letter gifts me the opportunity to choose which cord to cut and understand why. Therefore you become the owner of your own healing, and it becomes your conscious choice.
And I can almost hear the cogs turning in your head asking the question “but how does writing a letter actually help me heal?”
Step One: Setup Your Sacred Space
A word from the wise before you get started. This is not something to do whilst the kids are around. You should ensure privacy for this exercise.
Because you may get upset as you connect to your feelings. You may cry and express out the feelings — quite loudly in fact. There may be some cuss words emitted. In my case, the more profanity expressed during the writing process, the better I feel afterwards.
For my clients, I encourage expression in whatever way feels comfortable, safe, and uninhibited. Really give it all you’ve got.
The choice is yours.
But here’s the thing. You need privacy to connect with your feelings and then write it out. This is personal, much like going to a therapy session.
Set the scene for intimacy with self. You must feel safe and secure to connect with self and express out all the stuff.
There are times when a ritual will support you. Undertaking this exercise within a specific space, music, or even mood lighting will all factor here. You may have a favourite pen or writing paper. You may prefer a bean bag or meditation cushion. You may even cover yourself in a blankie.
Preparation is the key here.
Step Two: Let’s Get Started
This tool is fabulous to connect you to all those negative feelings that have been doing laps inside your head.
You know what I am talking about — all that insane monkey chatter doing laps like a formula one driver. I liken this stuff to the movie Bridget Jones’s diary and the incessant and ridiculous dialogue which can often run rampant after a trigger encounter.
You replay the event and start to think of all the things you wanted to say, but couldn’t in the heat of the moment. You get angry with yourself for not having expressed what you wanted to. And so it begins, the blah blah express leaves the station and you have personally invested in the trigger response.
Acknowledging you have been triggered is the first step. Getting yourself ready to confront all of the emotional juice you are feeling is part of beginning this process.
Step Three: Identify Who / What Triggered You
You need to address the letter to the person who threatens your social freedoms. By this, I am referencing those experiences whereby we’ve been triggered which resulted in an anger response, to the point of wanting to kill someone.
Start this letter strong. Don’t beat around the bush. The benefit of this exercise is for you to express out everything that you are feeling, so you can disconnect from the energy of that heavy negative emotion.
“Dear f*ck head” is always a good place to start. Don’t be limited by my language, go to town! Don’t hold back!
Sometimes to begin, you need to picture the trigger person is sitting in a chair on the opposite side of the room. Just perceiving that this person is in your space will ramp up your response. But picturing them on the other side of the room provides you with some level of safety, a barrier of space if you will.
Step Four: Acknowledge The Issue
The very first sentence I challenge you to launch into why you are pissed off, frustrated, angry, hurt or upset. Get very real with yourself and explicit with the details.
Perhaps your boundaries have been disrespected, even after you have explicitly outlined what is or is not appropriate?
Perhaps the trigger person is an energetic vampire, who always leaves you feeling drained after an encounter?
Perhaps a relationship has ended and you want to let your connection to this person go, for good? You may be seeking to sever ties.
Perhaps the trigger person, who should have been a positive and supportive influence has hurt you deeply. Perhaps the wound from this hurt has never healed and now interrupting your present-day relationships?
There is no limit here to what you purge vicariously through your writing.
If there are multiple incidents write about them.
Get it all out.
This is the gift of the f*ck you letter. You finally get to express it out of your body, out of your mind, out of your emotional patterning.
Step Five: Get Specific
The more specific you can connect your emotional response to an incident, the faster you can process and release your feelings.
Here is an example.
“I am so hurt and angry with you right now. Your ongoing refusal to speak to me after the incident and attempt to resolve this issue is perplexing. I felt so disrespected when you said x, y, and z. These words made me feel a, b and c.”
So the formula is this “I felt this when you did/ said that. This makes me feel (insert emotion)”.
Step Six: Purge Out The Shit
Once you’ve connected with the scenario, dig deeper to connect with the feels. Really let the words fly once you connect with all the hate fire you can muster.
Be sure to have a box of tissues handy because there may be tears and that is ok.
This is what the exercise is for — to prompt you to release out all that stuff in your head.
And don’t feel obliged to finish this process in one go. This may take several letters to get to the bottom.
Step Seven: Dig A Little Deeper
If you have the energy after all of that I’ve got an additional challenge for you to really connect with the emotional juice at this point.
Ok, so you felt angry, upset, frustrated, whatever it was.
What feeling is under that if you were to let it go?
Ask yourself “when else in your life have you experienced this emotional response to this type of event?” Do you relate to
Explore whether there is a pattern here.
Step Eight: Wrap up
You know when your ‘f*ck you letter’ is finished when you can complete the task by saying “and I wish you well“.
Ideally, the goal is to be able to finish with “thank you for the lesson” or “I forgive you“.
Ok so you’ve written your letter and it feels like a death star in your hands.
We never send this letter to the recipient. This exercise is a gift for self.
I recommend burning or shredding the letter as a final act of severing the ties to the emotional bond that held you to the trigger person. This is what the letter exercise is really all about — purging the feelings and severing the ties to toxicity.
It’s up to you to manage your response to someone pushing your buttons.
By writing a f*ck you letter, you’re in charge of connecting with all of the feelings that have arisen, acknowledging and releasing what no longer serves you. This clears the way for feeling lighter and freeing up space in your head for taking positive action.
The f*ck you letter puts you back into the driver’s seat of your life. You reconnect with your internal resilience tools to be able to protect or reinforce your boundaries of what is acceptable for your life.