• Sophia Brody, M.A.

Taming Relationship Funk

Updated: May 29, 2019

I just came across a quote along the lines of when someone is treating you funky, then there is something funky going on with them. I can’t tell you how many times I have been the brunt of someone’s weirdness, lack of worth, pain, and false expectations. All in the name of sustaining their emotional addiction. And let me tell you, I’m no saint to this either. Time and again I’ve tested my own limiting tendencies on those I care about or who trigger stress.

As kids we absorb our parents misplaced fears & struggles. Being a parent now, I totally empathize this process-I catch myself in the act w my own kids! When I was little, this struggle manifested in feeling isolated or overwhelmed when my parents avoided or unloaded their funk. Their boundaries were too strong or too loose, and I navigated this funky incongruence by accepting the terms of their limitations as my own. But as an adult, I have learned that being able to question, differentiate, and cope with other people’s funk versus mine requires separating, testing and exploring what I do with my response to myself more than my response to them!

I use the word funk cuz it seems to sum up this quality of yuk, ick, off, ill, and just not right. It’s low vibe. It is opposite from being aligned with our potential (our access to what serves ourselves and others). It is the opposite from being in our power, not in the sense of controlling others, but in staying in connection with Self (the space around our body, thoughts, and feelings).

Funky states are uncomfortable and can send us into this place of fight, flight or shock depending on how we hold space for ourselves or someone else who is projecting on us. Of course we are responsible for our own funk. But when it comes from someone else who is misdirecting/taking their lack of power out on us, how do we protect ourselves from absorbing what doesn’t belong to us?

How do we show up in our power during a funky interaction?

Here’s a check-in next time you are being targeted or are targeting someone w the funk:

1. Notice. Are you thrown off in anyway? (Look for feelings/thoughts of wanting to escape/avoid, cover up/hide, explain/persuade, flip out/explode to these funky low vibes).

2. Identify. Are you dealing with your funk or someone else’s? You may feel heated, uneasy, uncomfortable, agitated. You might feel an urge to cave into the feelings by releasing spiraling thoughts and actions. Or you might want to check out, contract, or speak without thinking. Maybe you go blank and just take it in. These are reactionary states to funk.

3. Cope. Practice taming the funk: go IN-BODY, instant access by tuning into physical posture. Ground thru your feet, take a breath and put space around yourself (thoughts and feelings) no matter how much effort this takes... this is is a responsive/non reactionary state to the funk.

Rules about people who target their funk on you:

1. You cannot change them.

2. Your needs might not be met because they aren’t meeting themselves. They probably aren’t capable of seeing or hearing you.

3. Their funk doesn’t determine your worth.

Rules about yourself when dealing with your own funk:

1. You can control yourself- your body, thoughts and feelings.