We often think of bad behaviour as a great inconvenience, whether it is from our teenager, our family member, our colleague or friend. It causes us great inconvenience because it just means we have to clean up their mess, and right the wrong.
Sometimes these bad behaviours even cause us great embarrassment and we just want them to pay for it. Or sometimes, their bad behaviour just hurts other people with rippling repercussions.
It is “almost natural” for us to feel victimised by other people’s bad behaviour, we feel as if we are at their mercy (yes even our teenagers) because we feel helpless and we are not able to control them.
But what if, their bad behaviour is a call for help?
What if, your adult friends or colleagues have huge insecurity issues, power struggles, a need to be in control, are simply unhappy with themselves because they do not have inner peace, and they lash out and start behaving like rebellious teens? What can we do for these overgrown teens? What is it that they want?
Bear in mind that their mindset and psychology is still like a teen, so it is challenging to speak to them like equal adults because firstly they do not wish to be treated like one. Secondly, they are asking for attention and throwing a temper tantrum.
How would you care for a teen who is asking for help via bad behaviour? They want attention, they want love, they want to be listened to. So this is exactly what you can do for your overgrown teenager friends/colleagues until such time when you realize that they have much deeper issues and a professional therapist is needed.
What you can do:
- Give them time to talk
- Guide the conversation to make sure it is a productive conversation and not one for ranting
- Assure them that you care and that their views are taken into consideration
- Crack them with lots of love and attention (not romantic love, obviously)
- If needed, send them to a professional
How would you know if they have much deeper issues?
Just look at what is going on in their lives. Do they have an addiction/bad habit that is consuming them? Do they have a happy family life? Are they facing tremendous pressure in the workplace to keep up? These are some telltale signs that their bad behaviour actually stems from a self-destructive mode. It goes way deeper.
I’ve witnessed enough of my clients, friends, family, colleagues who under such deep inner pressure just want to destroy themselves from the inside because they cannot take it anymore. And this, of course, impacts all of us around them. And I’ve sent countless people to therapists whom I work with to make sure they get back on track.
As a life coach, I coach people towards various life goals, but sometimes, these bad behaviours get in the way, and we have to make adjustments accordingly. The goal they want may not be what they need.
Not all goals we want in life should be achieved. Not especially if they are at the expense of our inner peace, inner love, inner power and inner wisdom.
Judge not those around you who are behaving badly, they may be choking in their call for help.