Have you ever had an attack of indignation?
You’re probably familiar with the hot feelings of anger and injustice that wash through you when you feel you are wrongly accused of some misdeed.
It may even be followed by a feeling of righteousness as you work through all the ways in which you are right and they are wrong.
Have you ever conducted a discussion fuelled by indignation?
Did it go well?
Were the feelings of goodwill and mutual respect for both parties enhanced?
Were mutually agreeable resolutions to the dispute easily reached?
I thought not.
Indignation is understandable. We all have strong feelings about what is right and proper, what we did and how we should be treated, sometimes to be taken to task to endure criticism.
When our values or self-respect are violated we may become angry and defensive as we seek to protect ourselves and what is important to us.
However, the heat of indignation may not be the best way for us to stand up for ourselves and our position, it can lead to us entrenching our own position, feeling more hostility towards our ‘opponent’. Naturally when they see us digging in, they might want to dig their own trenches and prepare for a struggle over the issue.
What if we could take the heat out of the issue, look at the circumstances, needs and wants of all parties without getting swept up in aggression or defensiveness?
This tapping routine is designed to take some of the heat out of indignation. You can use it at the time, if the other party isn’t freaked out by tapping or you can use it to defuse some of the tension from the situation later.
The technique alternates between the various positions in an argument, particularly the vexed point of who is right!
1. Think of your ‘indignation’ situation. Think of a sentence that sums it up giving it an emotional intensity score from 0 – 10.
2. Tap on the karate chop spot using the sentence as the setup statement.
“Even though I’m being blamed for not tidying up, I accept myself and how I feel” x 3
3. Do one round of tapping alternating the reminder phrases “I am right” and “he/she/they are wrong” on each consecutive point.
- EB: I am right
- SE: and, he is wrong
- UE: and, I am right
- UN: and, he is wrong
- CH: and, I am right
- CB: and, he is wrong
- UA: and, I am right
- TH: and, he is wrong
If necessary repeat this tapping round until any emotional charge has settled.
4. Now alternately tap on “He/she/they are right” and “I am wrong” on each consecutive point (this might bring up some resistance).
- EB: He is right
- SE: and, I am wrong
- UE: and, he is right
- UN: and, I am wrong
- etc …
If necessary repeat this tapping round until any emotional charge has settled. This might take a few rounds.
5. Alternately tap on “We are both right” and “we are both wrong” on each consecutive point.
- EB: We are both right
- SE: and, we are both wrong
- UE: and, we are both right
- UN: and, we are both wrong
- etc …
6. Go back to the original statement of the problem. How strong does the emotional charge around it feel. If there is still some emotion around it, repeat the process.
7. If you feel settled and clearer about the situation, ask yourself “How can I resolve this?” and other “How can I …?” questions to come up with creative ways to handle the original dispute, which probably still needs to be dealt with.
This process is best suited to mild irritants and indignations, it may not be the best approach to use in very strong conflict situations. If you feel trauma, hatred, rage or even homicidal then you need to use other approaches to work with the dispute to bring it down to the level of indignation.
The purpose of this technique is to give you clarity of mind and emotion to tackle the underlying issue that provoked the indignation in the first place. It is not intended to be used to let you or the other person off the hook.
Just because you tap on “I’m wrong and she is right” doesn’t mean that you are wrong or don’t have a point, or that you are right and their needs and opinions have no value. The tapping is to take out the emotional charge not to come to a ‘legal’ decision on the facts and who is to blame.