Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Dealing with unhelpful friends and relatives

The blog below is some snippets taken from a thread on the message board recently. The original posting is below, plus Paul's reply below that... Hope you find it helpful
Message board posting:
Having just returned from Menorca, my fourth holiday since completing the FWF course I still couldn't say that I loved flying but I know now that I can "do it" and that thoughts of the return flight won't ruin the entire time we are away.
I wonder if any other course attendees (is that a word?) have had the same experience. Apart from
my husband, who paid for me to attend, and our son, I didn't get much support from family or many "friends" in the run-up to the course. In fact quite a few people (especially wider family members) seemed to feel that my husband was indulging me and pandering to my fears when really there was a)either nothing to be scared of or b)lots of people are nervous of flying but just get on with it.

But I DID face my fears and DID attend. Now I find that many of these same people who were so unsupportive at the time have started asking me for tips and advice when they are about to fly! Apart from extolling the virtues of the FWF course and suggesting that they attend I must admit that at times I feel like telling some of them to "take a running jump". Not very charitable I know, but if I did it so can they.

Have other FWF people had to deal with the same situation and if so what do they say?
This was our reply/personal rant!

I think that this is a curious thing actually. I have my own theories around this type of thing but not sure if I can articulate them here correctly...I will have a go...

I have noticed, when working as a behavioural trainer and coach, that people can be very weird sometimes when a colleague or friend does something to change a behaviour about themselves that they don't like.
For example, when I used to train assertiveness skills; without fail, every attendee would say that a manager or colleague had said to them at some point before they attended the course , 'I'd better watch myself when you come back now you are all assertive!' This is partly due to their own fears about not knowing what it is that the person will learn. It is also about the fact that they might secretly know that they should be doing something similar themselves.
Also, sometimes, people can feel threatened when someone that they know does something different. There are many people that will tell you how once they decided to get fit, lose weight and look good...many 'friends' will be quite odd with them afterwards. Sometimes, they can almost stop the individual getting fit or changing themselves. They are secretly threatened maybe? I suspect that the behaviour is out of conscious awareness and not meant with any actual malice!

Anyway, when it comes to fear of flying, I have learned one simple truth and it is this. Even as co-founder of the programme, whenever someone asks me about fear of flying and I start to attempt to allay their fears, they resist...They start to say, 'yes, but...'
I have concluded that this is not the right time to tell them anything...They are not actually ready to face their fear otherwise they would have done the course or have booked a space on it.
My best bit of advice is to offer something helpful, if they respond well, continue. If they resist or 'yes, but' then refer them to the website or offer them a copy of your book but basically, get out of the situation. Whatever was said or worked for you on the day of your course, loses its power in translation and they will quickly jump on it and dispute it. There is a danger that they could undo your good work by dropping in some erroneous occurrence or fact. I was mid telling a group of friends that 'seemed interested' when some smarta**e interrupted, 'Well, recent data suggests that actually the pilot in that situation you are talking about was this and that...' I didn't have the full facts to hand so I looked like a twerp. Subsequently, I found out he was talking nonsense but the moment had passed by then.

So, in summary. Smile sweetly, and say 'The course helped me as I was ready to beat my fear. I am happy to talk about what happens on the course. If you have a genuine fear of flying, it is important to do what works for you.' Then walk off!

Many times, I have had to walk away from someone that has spent their time CONVINCING me that taking their drugs before a flight was the best thing to do...

Hope that little personal rant is of relevance!!!

Take care
Paul & Richard
Fear of flying group courses 2013: Birmingham 20th October; Manchester 10th November; Gatwick 17th November; Southampton 1st December - all adult fear of flying courses £255 including VAT

Fear of flying group courses 2014: London Luton 19th January – all adult fear of flying courses £255 including VAT

Children’s course 17th November Gatwick - £375 for one child and one fear free adult including refreshments, parking and flights

Ground only courses (no flight) 2014:  Leeds Bradford 12th January; Newcastle 2nd February; Bristol 23rd March

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