Humans are interesting, unpredictable creatures at times… aren’t we?!
Have you ever been in a situation where someone behaved badly / inappropriately / unpredictably, at a time that seemed to MAKE NO SENSE? When it happens near us but not directed at us, it’s easier to just carry on with our day.
But what happens when it seems to be directed AT us??? Different story… uhm, you talkin’ to me!?
Well, it happened to me, by a stranger, and it totally caught me off guard. It actually froze me in disbelief for a moment. I gave someone (who was asking for money on the street) a Starbucks gift card and she aggressively threw it back at me with a few very angry choice words!
As I walked away I noticed the look of disgust on one person’s face and a few other peoples’ ‘mouth-puckered’ head shakes. It was definitely a little abrupt.
In situations like that, my Coach brain immediately asks… “what’s really going on here?” …I was feeling a little personally attacked but I didn’t want to find myself falling into ego or defensiveness, or a poor-me victim mode that could bring down my day. So the question that came up was this:
“What must that person be feeling, or how must she be hurting, in order to justify such behaviour?”
Instant diffusion and I felt some compassion.
There was no need to take it personally. It really had nothing to do with me. She clearly had bigger troubles than I knew anything about.
People who are hurting, hurt others. Happy people don’t hurt other people.
BUT what happens when it’s people we love or people we spend a lot of time with who behave poorly – at us or around us? Soooo much harder to not take it personally, isn’t it?
That’s when we need to remember that we’ve ALL done things or said things in the past that we wish we could take back. Ugh, right?
So what did WE NEED in those situations?
…And hey, side-note here I’m not at all suggesting that we need to just ‘take it’ or accept inappropriate or poor behaviour… it’s not okay! We definitely need to have solid boundaries and a backbone response (I’ll go deeper on this thought in another post)…
The only way to grow and be better is to learn a new way. The only way to do THAT is through Personal Mastery: practicing habits that SERVE US and not slipping into old destructive habits or ego.
Battling with someone, being defensive, arguing or fighting to be right is more like the opposite of growth, wouldn’t you say?
It’s such a tremendous gift we can offer the people we love and the people who witness us in everyday life when we are an EXAMPLE of personal control… having boundaries, taking the high road, not taking things personally, walking away until respect is shown, forgiving but at the same time not accepting bad behaviour and showing a better way instead.
It makes it a little easier to have compassion for unhappy people when we remember that behaviour doesn’t represent WHO a person is, it represents WHAT a person is going through in that moment. Couldn’t we all use a little extra compassion and understanding at times?
I believe in you!
Fearlessly Live an Extraordinary Life!