Every day we come across people that want to bring us down. It could be a phone call, or an email, or maybe just a passing glance from a stranger that makes us feel like everything we are doing is wrong or inadequate.
When this person shows up in your life, you have two options. One would be to please this person, and personally take a hit for their bad day, which ultimately could ruin yours. Or you could chose option two which is hard, but takes practice. To listen and react as if the problem is NOT yours, but theirs.
Too often we take on other people’s problems trying to satisfy everyone and ‘fix something’ that’s not working. Not only does this create a bigger problem, but it alters the ability to differentiate between the actual messages the person is relaying, and the emotions that are backing up their comments. The message almost always gets lost when all you hear from the other side is a loud voice, negative comments, and a nasty demeanor, so start focusing on the message at the first loud syllable you hear and try not to take it personally.
Everyone has had a bad day, but it’s what you do on those bad days that can either stop the trend of negativity, or exponentially grow it. Notice when you are taking your bad day out on someone else; Notice it, so you can notice it in others. We all do it, but there comes a time when you have to consciously make a decision to either escalate or squash your own problems in order to look out for the passing strangers you meet. Who’s to say the person you are talking to didn’t just lose someone really close to them? Or maybe they just heard news that would forever change their life. Look at people and figure them out. If you can’t see them, then just think about what that person might have gone through ten minutes before you chose to take a jab at them because of your own personal strife. You really never know.
I have always said I will never have a job that makes someone’s life worse than it was before I met them. Maybe because of my own personal speeding habits that the police profession is out of the question, but it’s just something I will stick to. I can’t handle being a part of someone’s pain, (those poor meter readers and lawyers) and it’s not only the job either; I refuse to be a part of something that I know will have a negative impact on another person’s life. It’s just not worth it to me. I’ve learned it’s easier to smile, than to counteract with other issues.
We are all living and breathing the same air, were all buying the same gas, driving the same cars, eating the same food, and dealing with our own personal issues. We are all living and working human beings.
When you have a bad day, everyone else you see will know you are having a bad day. You will probably tell these people all about your bad day, and how horrible it is, thus transferring your misery to the other person and solving nothing at the same time.
Offer acknowledgement and compassion to these family members, friends, or strangers. There is no reason to take on the weight of their world and sit in their misery with them to make them feel better. You have to remember we are all people, we all make mistakes and we all don’t have the ability to say ‘yes’ to everything we wish we could. Trust me if I could save the world one person at a time, I would.