Transcending “Cancel Culture”
“Cancel culture” is a term that has become popular in the last couple of years. With the recent ugly, reactive, traumatic, and drama-filled events in the US, we have noticed the phrase used more often.
Wikipedia defines it this way: “Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles—either on social media or in the real world, or both. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to be ‘canceled’.”
Think of it this way. If you receive a publication and decide you no longer like it, you can cancel your subscription. In the same way, if there is a group that you disagree with or dislike, be it political, ethnic, geographic, other otherwise, you can “cancel” their point of view in your own mind.
With the “us-versus-them” polarized mindset that is so prevalent in the US and other parts of the world, it is easy to see how the “canceling” cliché evolved. At its extreme, “canceling” can be accompanied by dehumanizing and shaming the other(s) because their perspective and behaviors differs from yours.
And let’s be clear, there are times where others’ behaviors and actions are completely unacceptable, and they must be held accountable.
However, how do you transcend canceling others and their views from your judging thoughts? How do you live from a Creator Orientation, acknowledging the Creator essence in others, even when their words and actions seem so far removed from what you value?
This reality can be a supreme Challenger, calling forth learning and growth in you as you grapple with your emotions and reactions to “them.”
We are writing about this topic because we have noticed our own judging mindset and how it sows even more polarization. Our attempt here is to write about what we most want to transform in ourselves. Here are a few steps we are practicing:
- Willingness – Ask yourself whether you want to relinquish your judging thoughts. If you are not aware of the dangers of demonizing others, you may end up hanging on to your judgments.
- Pause and Breathe – Even if you are willing to let them go, there will be times you become triggered and react by shaming and decrying the other(s)’ actions. When you feel the triggers arise, pause and take three deep belly breaths. Visualize blowing out the negative feelings. This will ground you, and supports your ability to respond, rather than react.
- “Go to the Balcony” and broaden your perspective by creating an impersonal space between you and the triggering drama. One technique is to visualize sitting in a movie theater and act as though you are watching the scenario play out on the screen.
- Notice and name the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) roles you are experiencing. For example, you might say to yourself, “I feel like a Victim to their opinions,” or “The Persecutor in me wants to strike back.” By noticing and naming your DDT roles, you weaken the heavy energy that may have triggered you.
- Choose your response – With these tools you are shifting your mindset into the Creator Orientation, in which you are always at choice. You may still feel angry, sad, or dismayed, but now you are choosing rather than unconsciously reacting.
These are a few suggestions to support you on the pathway toward transcending the cancel culture. We cannot not create. “They” cannot, not create. And, as a Creator, you are responsible and accountable for your actions and outcomes.
Our invitation is to join us in our desire to transcend the “cancel culture.” Together, as Creators, Challengers, and Coaches, we can co-create a world that works for all.