In this episode, I take the time to discuss the importance of Brené Brown’s “Shitty First Drafts” and how writing out my feelings has been incredibly beneficial to me. Additionally, I explain how taking the time to write out what I want to say to someone when conflict is in the midst has helped me save some very important relationships. I hope that you’ll leave this episode feeling inspired and ready to try something new!
Write It Out – Bailey’s Way
As I mentioned in this episode, my therapist pointed out that I don’t do Brene Brown’s “Shitty First Drafts” exactly the way that Brené recommends it… ? Instead, I came up with my own version that works better for me. Therefore, I’ve decided to go ahead and share exactly what I do so that you can either try it out for yourself OR you can figure out what works best for you. Let’s get started, friends!
Step 1: Write a “Shitty First Draft”
If you’re heated from an argument or conversation that went south with someone, the best thing to do is to take a break and stop communicating with that person until you’ve cooled down. This is often easier to do if the conversation is happening via text, but I’ve learned that even if the conversation is happening face-to-face, it’s best to be brave and ask to end it before things can blow up. (Scroll to find 4 different examples of things you can say when you’re feeling misunderstood).
Now that you’ve removed yourself from the situation, you’re probably still pretty heated and upset. This is when I grab my journal and begin my “Shitty First Draft: Bailey Edition” where I take the time to write out all of the negative emotions that I’ve feeling towards that person in that moment. Am I mad that this person is refusing to listen to me? Do I feel like calling them a shitty name? Am I writing in all caps because I would rather be screaming at this person than writing my feelings in a journal? Whatever it is that I’m feeling or thinking, I write it out. ALL OF IT, no matter how ugly it may sound.
For me, I’ve found that if I don’t get all of the angry feelings out of my body (either by writing it out or venting about them to my therapist, if I happen to have a session scheduled soon ?), I have a higher chance of accidentally unleashing them onto the person – which I want to avoid at all cost! This is why I consider writing a Shitty First Draft to be super important when I’m dealing with conflict.
Step 2: Take Time to Cool Down
Now that I’ve gotten all of these negative feelings (and thoughts ?) out of my body and onto paper, I try to go do something that relaxes me or allows me to “escape” reality for a bit. If I’m at home with no plans, I might go take a bubble bath or blast some fun, upbeat music for a solo dance party. Maybe I’ll go sit down with my sewing machine and immerse myself in my latest project or cuddle up on the couch with a good book. Sometimes, I’ll even go for a run or a walk outside in order to help clear my head a bit more. Figure out what types of activities help you cool down and choose to engage in one of them when you’ve finished writing a Shitty First Draft.
Step 3: Write What You Really Want to Say
Typically, I let a few days pass in between Step 2 and Step 3 because even though I might be cooled down from an argument that happened in the morning, I want to make sure that I’m totally cool. I’ve found that if I get my feelings hurt, it sometimes takes a few days for me to process these feelings and feel calm enough to work on writing what I want to say to this person. This might not be the same for you and that’s okay! We all have our own processing times, so please remember that this is what I do but it’s up to you to figure out what works best for you. ?
When I feel that I’m officially ready, I grab my journal once again and start writing out what I want to communicate with this person, ensuring that I’m as clear as possible. Typically, I begin by apologizing for whatever it was that I did wrong – even if I didn’t start the argument or fight, there’s likely a strong possibility that I could’ve done something better. Therefore, I like to start by either apologizing for my wrongdoings or for pointing out where I could’ve done better (been more clear, not raised my voice, listened better, etc.) and I apologize for it.
Next, I work on figuring out what message I want to portray to this person. Do I need to explain to them how [insert actions/behaviors of theirs] was hurtful towards me? Do I need to point out that they said something to me that felt judgmental/ugly/rude/etc., whether or not that was their intention? Am I upset because I feel like they crossed a boundary of mine that I had previously tried to set in place? Whatever the message may be, this is my time to sit down and write it out, ensuring that I’m careful with my words and coming from a place of sincerity, writing as many drafts as needed along the way.
Now that I’ve gotten this written, I begin to focus on solutions. What is something that we can do to avoid this in the future? Do we need to set a boundary of some sort that we agree upon that can help salvage this relationship? Should we avoid talking about certain topics that may be triggering to one person or the other? Is there a phrase we could say before venting to each other in order to ensure that the other person is in a mental state where they can listen? Figure out what you need while remembering that you will also need to give the other person the opportunity to tell you what they need.
Step 4: Be Brave and Have a Conversation with “Said” Person
Once you feel calm and have sorted your thoughts out, reach out to the individual and find a time to meet. If you don’t live close enough to meet face-to-face, try scheduling a video call instead. I’ve learned from great leaders, such as Brené Brown, that having hard conversations where you can read the body language of the other person is incredibly important! Let them know that you value them and your relationship with them, and that you’d like to discuss how to move forward together. If they agree, consider bringing your journal along so that you can read your final draft to them, the one that includes solutions on how the two of you can move forward together. ?
During the announcements, I briefly discussed the book that I’m currently reading: The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama and how it landed in my life at the perfect time! For those of you who are dealing with some not-so-pleasant life situations, my advice is to find a book that can help guide you through it. I’m grateful that this book was readily available for me as it’s exactly what I need right now! Need some ideas on books to read? Check out the articles below to see what books I’ve read that have guided me through many, many hard times throughout the past 4 years.
- My 2019 Reading List
- 6 Amazing Books for Healing
- My 2020 Reading List
- Brené Brown’s Books Ranked in Order of Most Valuable
- My 2021 Reading List
- Bailey’s 2022 Reading List
My Win of the Week
In this episode, I was thrilled to share that my fiancé, Monish, and I are having an engagement party soon to celebrate our recent engagement! ? Typically, I like to go alllllllll out for my parties but this time I’m choosing to chill and take it easy as I’ve been doing way too much lately. I’ve learned that sometimes we have to take a back seat and protect our mental health instead of trying to make everything we want happen (I hope that makes sense!). So because I mentioned that I tend to go all out with parties and themes, I figured I owed it to you to show you what I was talking about. ? Enjoy the photos and videos below that showcase a few of the parties I’ve thrown in recent years!
- Since I discussed Brené Brown so much throughout this episode, I figured I should share an article that I recently wrote, Brené Brown’s Books Ranked in Order of Most Valuable
- Ready to do some journaling but unsure where to start? Check out these 12 Journal Prompts for Healing to find some questions to get you thinking!
- Interested in reading one (or both!) of Michelle Obama’s books? Check out Becoming or The Light We Carry: Overcoming In Uncertain Times and dive on into this wonderfulness, my friend! ?
- Do you, like me, struggle with anger? If so, I encourage you to tune into S2. Episode 2: Anger Management; Bailey’s Way to hear how I’ve learned to cope with and manage my anger. Anger is not pleasant for both the person feeling it and for those around them and I know firsthand how shame can creep in once anger leaves the building… I hope that by tuning in, you’ll find some comfort and feel less alone in this struggle.
- Have a recent win you want me to celebrate with you? Head on over to the Win of the Week webpage and submit your win for me to shoutout on an upcoming episode of the show!
- Here’s the link to get 15% off your first purchase from my Etsy Shop, Bailey’s Way Designs: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BaileysWayDesigns?coupon=NEWCUSTOMER15
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Until next time friends… Take it easy, stay grateful and be joyful!
Check out the show notes from the latest episodes below!