Change often elicits resistance within all of us – even those of us instigate the change. The resistance within us is usually different and connected to who we are; sometimes who we were years ago and the change touches on something deep within us. Whether we are working with children or adults, creating a space to speak out the resistance – usually some form of fear or anger – can be very helpful both for the person experiencing it and for his/her team or community around him/her.
We are not overly good at talking about fear or anger; we lack nuanced vocabulary which can add to the frustration. When we expand the vocabulary we use, we help ourselves and others talk about what is going on enabling us to talk through the resistance. It is not about minimising, ignoring, or belittling the resistance; it’s the opposite, it’s expecting the resistance, acknowledging it, naming it, and then moving forward through it.
Some words for fear I have come across include: scared, helpless, frightened, anxious, overwhelmed, worried, insecure, inadequate, inferior, weak, worthless, insignificant, rejected, excluded, persecuted, threatened, nervous, exposed.
Some words for anger I have come across include: let down, betrayed, resentful, humiliated, disrespected, ridiculed, bitter, indignant, violated, mad, furious, jealous, aggressive, provoked, hostile, frustrated, infuriated, annoyed, distant, withdrawn, numb, critical, sceptical, dismissive.