On Kickback


One thing that’s important to realise is that we train people how to treat us. Just like with horses, if you have allowed yourself to be walked over, never taken up all the space that’s owed to you, and consistently acquiesced to the wishes of others in deference of your own then changing things up- asserting yourself, saying no to things you might have previously always said yes to or simply taking time for yourself- is not necessarily going to be met with a round of applause.

It creates kickback.

Kickback is the reflexive response to changing an energetic or relational dynamic. If we identify as passive, a people pleaser or someone who is all give and no take, inevitably there is someone benefitting from us behaving in that way. Humans place a high degree of value on certainty; in relationships that are familiar to us, we develop unconscious understandings that when I engage with you in this way, this is the way that you are likely to respond.

Mixing things up creates instability in these understandings and the reaction is often a fervent attempt to re-establish the original way of going about things to restore “normal” order. In other words, if you are the one changing things up, people are going to try to talk you out of it.

If you are the one creating a boundary where previously there wasn’t one, someone is going to hit the edges of that and potentially… not like it.

It’s important to understand kickback, and even more important to prepare for it. The feeling of anxiety that can come with moving in alignment with what’s true for you is not necessarily a warning signal that you are moving in the wrong direction. Ensuring that you have resources to draw on and support to turn to is key when establishing a new kind of normal for yourself so you can ground and centre in the midst of the challenge for long enough to experience the transformation.


❤️ Jane