Saturday, August 29, 2015

It Isn't About You!!!

It happens to everyone. A friend or coworker says or does something hurtful, and we stand back wondering what we did to merit such action. We may end up feeling sad or angry or, at times, just confused. Sometimes it upsets us so much we say or do things we regret later. There is one thought that keeps me sane at times like these: it is not about me!

People act on what they know. If you grow up in a family that speaks their minds and fights all the time, it will feel natural to treat everyone else that way. Years ago, I had a coworker that was quite aggressive. If she didn't like something you were doing she would let you know in no uncertain terms. Many days I felt like I was in the crosshairs because we were so different. The funny thing was, another girl began working with us that was exactly like her. While the rest of us didn't really care to hang out with either one of them, they became fast friends. They fought and bickered between themselves, and that was okay because that's what they were used to.

I encounter many people in my customer service job who are abrupt and difficult. Sometimes they are just in a hurry and need help finding something so they can be on their way again. Sometimes they are not feeling well, but junior needs khakis for his band concert tomorrow night, so there they are at the store when they would rather just be in bed. There are many other reasons they might act in disrespectful ways. I don't take it personally. Being sensitive and a good listener, I can usually feel they are in pain. I do what I can to help, often times making them feel a little better.

There are occasions where something I do seems to send someone else over the edge. This is because my action has reminded them of something someone else has done to them in the past and it triggers an automated sort of response. I call these trigger points, and when I encounter them personally I know there is an issue I need to look at and work on. Understand that most people are not ready to deal with their issues and will act out on them instead.

What I try to remember is this: people act out for many different reasons, and it is not about me. It is really all about them! It is their experience, their issue, their life! It is not right or wrong. It is part of their learning experience and something they are dealing with in the moment of now.

Don't make their problem about you. You have enough to deal with without taking on additional responsibility. The only person you can truly fix is yourself. Respect them enough to allow them to fix their own problems. It isn't about you!!!


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