"I think it's okay," my friend Charlotte* sent me on WhatsApp. "Let me know how it went."
He assured me that my message (to a guy I was withHinge, been in someTermwith and with whom I decided I would not see any progress) was not dismissive, inconsiderate or over the top, I copied and pasted my draft and, with encouragement from Charlotte, who helped banish the butterflies in my stomach, I suggested sending .
Darshita, 24, tests his approach in social situations with herFriends, Also. "A close friend lent me some money and I'm trying to figure out a way to ask her to pay me back," she tells me. "I try to be confident without being pushy." So Darshita asked another friend to read the message she wanted to send. "To make sure I'm saying the right things and not being too pushy but still getting what I need."
Why do we need our friends or co-workers to tell us we're not shitty people?
This habit of asking others if they are the best at articulating a personal message or approaching a social situation with compassion can be described as the "importance of control." comes fromDesktop, the Sense Check will likely become a staple of your office jargon if you work in a corporate environment.
"Sense checking is the process of examining or verifying something to make sure [it] is reasonable, accurate, logical, or just 'makes sense,'" says Sophie Bryan, Certified Practitioner with the American Council on Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Career Coach and Life with more than 20 years of experience in HR.
Bryan explains thatfeel controlin the workplace typically involves "duplicating information or data, testing assumptions, or revising a proposed course of action."
It makes sense that meaning checking is routine in work environments. "It ensures that all of an organization's decisions and actions are based on accurate and reliable information," says Bryan. But in our personal relationships, what makes us check the meaning of our words before we send them? Bottom line: Why do we need our friends or partners to tell us we're not shitty people?
For Shivani, 23, who is "very" in control of her senses in her personal relationships, it's about feeling safe and validated. "I like to make sure I'm saying [something] right so that it's compassionate and nobody gets offended or hurt," she says. “[Even your friends] confirm your feelings when you ask them about theirs.Advice– If you're right, obviously. If you're wrong, they say you're wrong."
That makes sense. When we are caught in a tense and immobile situationtwo, it can be difficult to tell who is right and who is wrong without the benefit of an outside perspective. Sometimes though, we know deep down that we're on the right track and just need that last push to do what we know we need to do.
"As my friend with money, sometimes my inner monologue is, 'You should be more understanding of his situation, maybe now is not the right time,'" says Darshita. "But I know that when I ask my best friends or my boyfriend, they validate me and say, 'No, you should ask them, that's totally normal.'
Dr Sarah Bishop is a clinical psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). She points out that examining the senses can be rooted in fear. "Finding calm is a common way of trying to manage our anxiety," she says. “When something makes us uncomfortable, we want that discomfort to go away.” Cue friends tell us, “Keep going! You are right."
"The problem with sensory testing due to unnecessary fear is that we never learn to deal with uncomfortable feelings on our own."
Dr. Sara Bispo
"So the question should be, why do you feel so uncomfortable expressing these feelings of [for example] pain or disappointment?" the bishop continues. "Are you having trouble saying no? Do you feel too responsible for others' feelings? If these situations make you uncomfortable enough to check your messages too much, that could be a signAnguish."
And then, as with so many social phenomena, there is social media. the hashtag#Handlinghas 2.6 million Instagram posts; When I typed "narcissist" into the Twitter search bar, it got tweeted 300 times in the last hour. on tiktok,#distorthas an impressive 2.3 billion views, while#toxic peoplehas 488 million.
Often this collective habit of labeling every behavior and personality type on social media is positive and leads to a useful sense check for me. I sometimes wonder if I'm on the receiving end of subtly problematic behavior and have asked a friend for their opinion so they can confirm what I basically know to be true. The fact that they confirmed my suspicions gave me the silent courage to take the first step towards solving the problem and I must thank social media immensely for that.
Equally, however, I often agonize over whether I am being inadvertently manipulative or passive-aggressive (in other words, toxic) by setting my boundaries or pointing out harmful behaviors in someone else.
Again, in these last situations, testing the senses can be helpful to me. "These terms are used a lot on social media, and while it's very important that we understand and are aware of this behavior, it's important to be realistic about what constitutes abuse," says Bishop. "Leaving someone, saying no or disagreeing are not forms of abuse. It is possible to communicate these things with sensitivity and courtesy to someone." the rest."
The bishop's words remind me thatRefinery29 article by Vicky Spratt"Not everything is poisonous just because you don't like it." As Spratt wrote, "If something is toxic, it's toxic." I'm not being toxic if I politely tell someone that I don't see things developing romantically. I know, but sometimes I have trouble remembering and so (and why) I check my senses.
Many of my friends don't feel the need to test their senses in this way. They are confident in their words and actions (right or wrong) and don't have any problemsset limitsor tell someone what they don't want to hear. I'm not there yet Sometimes I worry that I'm acting toxic; Sometimes I'm afraid of a confrontation and want to know through sense scans that someone is on my side.
Likewise, Darshita does not always seek an objective answer when examining the senses. "Instead of finding out what they're really thinking, I look for bias where I want someone to support me," she says.
Furthermore, examining the senses can help us grow as human beings. "I ask my friends, 'Okay, do you think that's fair? Do you think I'm irrational when I'm angry [or] upset?'" says Shivani. say, 'Hey, that's not it'".
"If you've gotten objective feedback that your communication style is inadequate, it's probably a good idea to ask someone to review the things you're not sure about," agrees Bishop. "It's important for growth and learning."
Of course there are limits. Relying too heavily on other people's validation is not healthy for them or for us. "The problem with sensory testing for unnecessary fear is that we never learn to deal with uncomfortable feelings on our own," explains Bishop. "If sense-searching has more to do with your own anxiety, then perhaps it's worth reflecting on why you feel so uncomfortable about passing on misleading messages and knowing that sending someone else doesn't address the root causes of asking to calm you down. below." .
Ultimately, we need to be able to look at ourselves first. But not all of us are born with that inner compass. If we are having difficulty trusting our motives, actions or words in certain social situations, then from time to time check our senses with someone you trust (as long as it is a give and take relationship and the person on whom to retest the senses, having the emotional range in that moment) can help us on our journey to that point of calm inner trust. After all, human beings are social creatures, and it's natural to look to other trustworthy people to help us navigate life.
“I find that examining the senses helps me remember that I'm not crossing anyone's boundaries, I'm not overreacting, and maybe I'm asking for what I deserve,” says Darshita. "[It's] a great way to feel like you're on the right track."
*Name changed to protect identity
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