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What's WAM? That feeling in the pit of your stomach when someone cuts in front of you, takes credit for your ideas, or treats you like you're not even there. The desire to pound your fists, stamp your feet and scream, "What About Me?" WAM!

I remember being WAMed once on a shopping trip with my sisters. My middle sister driving and the oldest hopped in front because, well, she's the oldest. WAM! Suddenly, I felt 10 years old again, angry for being stuck to the back seat because I was the youngest. I think I sulked the entire ride.

WAM! is more than just anger. It's the inner-conflict between one part that's angry, one that tells it to grow up, and one that's ashamed because in that moment, you can't.

How to manage the WAM response:

  • Pause and take a breath

  • Notice where the anger shows up in your body

  • Be curious, and ask yourself what this is really about

  • Notice if a memory arises of a time when you felt powerless

  • Bring compassion to that young part of you that was once cheated

When the young part feels like you get it and you care, it usually settles down.

If you still feel angry, take a moment to gather yourself, then speak up in a way you feel good about.

Looking back, I can see how my sister's part that needed to feel important triggered my part that felt powerless. I might have said, "Okay, oldest sister, but I'm riding shotgun on the way home." This would have brought some lightheartedness to the situation while advocating for my parts that wanted fairness.

To learn more about "parts work," reach out.

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