- It’s not about YOU!
Someone answers you curtly, someone doesn’t respond to your greeting, or your text, or your email from like, what, a month ago. Then someone else, keeps putting off that diner date that you’re supposed to have. Another seems to have had things come up every time you have planned a meeting. The lady in the store pays you little attention. A teacher or lecturer doesn’t seem to acknowledge your existence as something more than a number on a list. Your parent speaks to you in a really harsh way.
It’s not about you.
Although you’re interacting with these people, they are also interacting with the rest of the world. They are internalizing situations and resolving issues behind those beautiful faces.
But we only think of those moments of our mutual interaction and come to the conclusion that they have a problem with us.
The truth is that for the majority of times, it isn’t you. Your parent is stressed about something else and has exacerbated the seemingly appropriate response to your actions. The cashier’s relief is an hour late and she really, really needs to go to the bathroom.
This isn’t to make an excuse for the actions of people. Being in a tough situation does not give someone a license to be horrid but in reality when you’re damaged in some way it makes even simple things more difficult. The same is true for life.
What I am saying is that. Sometimes we feel as if we’ve been slighted by someone and we take it personally/to heart. Which is a pretty natural response. Then we create stress in our minds trying to solve or explain that situation to ourselves. Sometimes we feel not only hurt but angry.
That’s where what I’m writing about today comes in. To live, we are constantly solving problems. ‘Problems’ from what to eat today for breakfast, which seat to sit in, which light to turn off first, to how should we lay the foundation for this barn. We’re problem solving machines. It’s a trait that allows us to continue to exist.
Some problems aren’t so difficult and some are. Some are more difficult than they have to be because we start looking for the solution in the wrong place.
When we have strange interactions with other we tend to look at that interaction through a magnifying glass. We see two people; the sender and the receiver. So we think that the problem is in there. We need to look at these problems in a holistic manner.
Looking at problems from a holistic perspective makes us realise that we (the receiver) are only a small part of the two worlds that are colliding in that moment of interaction. This is so even if both parties are of great significance to each other. Every thing in the world is a problem to be solved.
Seeing that you have realised your insignificance in contributing to receiving the response (or lack of) that you did, you can solve the problem more easily.
Potentially more importantly, we are able to release the feelings of pity, sadness, anger or confusion associated with these interactions. Think off all of the times that we spend time harbouring emotions connected to unreturned emails and short answers from friends. For myself and a lot of people that I know, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what we did wrong or why is this person no longer interested in interacting with me. That’s lost time and we were looking for answers in the wrong place.
Sometimes, we are on the other side. Sometimes we are the sources of curt responses and fake smiles. Sometimes we take time to return messages and are uninterested in conversation. We know to ourselves that we are not valuing this person less, in fact we quite like them, but there are so many things going on, or we’ve dedicated all of our time to another project, or we just have different emotional quotas. So, we know this and make excuses for ourselves which aren’t so much excuses as explanations. We also don’t explicitly state it to communicating buddy.
We can save ourselves the emotional turmoil if we take ourselves out of the picture and look at our interactions with the world from a more holistic lens.
That’s all for now, it’s not about you,
(Not even this post, hahaha)
Stay in, stay wandering, stay wondering,