How often do you replay conversations over in your head? I know it’s definitely something I do. You know when you have a conversation with someone and then end up playing the whole thing over and over in your head. This can be both a good and bad thing when it comes to our anti-racism work and values. It can be a good thing because it can give us an opportunity to reflect on what happened, how we feel about it, and make choices about next steps. It can also be a bad thing if we end up just replaying it over and over, get stuck in our thoughts, or put ourselves down about it.
I’m guessing you might be able to relate to having a conversation and then being really hard on yourself or getting stuck in a negative emotion after. It’s important to reflect on the conversation and give space for us to have our feelings, but it’s also important that we don’t get stuck in our heads. I think too often when we are stuck in our heads it prevents us from using our energy to move towards the deeper authentic relationships we need to work on building and taking action to create real change.
If you notice that you are feeling stuck or that conversation is staying on repeat in your mind, here’s a few ideas:
- Talk with someone that will understand and ask their thoughts about it. They can give you their perspective and tell you if you said/did something wrong, if it’s not that big a deal, and help you process all of the feelings that keep coming up for you around it.
- Go back to the person you had the initial conversation with and talk about the feelings coming up for you. Ask about their feelings related to it. See if they see the part you are stuck on the same as you and get a better understanding of why you are feeling what you are. This is a great way to deepen the relationship by expanding the conversation to include the underlying things that may be coming up for both of you.
- Journal about it. This is a great way to do some personal reflection and dig a little deeper to get to more of the feelings that you might not even realize are getting in the way for you. Sometimes getting it out of your head and onto paper can help get it off repeat and into next steps mode.
Connecting deeply to others and ourselves, having hard conversations, and navigating mistakes are all really important aspects of anti-racism work. We need these skills to be able to speak up and show up for racial equity and justice. If we are caught up in our minds and staying with conversations on repeat in our heads, it limits our ability to show up fully. Digging deeper and talking it out are how we can put ourselves in a position to better align our values with our actions.
To moving forward in conversations.
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- Subscribe and listen to our podcast, Racially Responsible, a show designed to call in, support, and provide loving accountability for white women in anti-racism work. Our conversations are all about how we can work together to build a safe, loving, and inclusive world.
- We will be opening up the Changemakers program again soon, add your name to the waiting list to be the first to hear about it. Changemakers is our program for white women looking to build their leadership skills, navigate all of the emotions that come up with this work, strengthen their communication strategies, and develop their overall confidence and abilities to do anti-racism work around issues of race and racism in their life.
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