A part of taking care of myself more and better has involved not creating stories or making assumptions around situations or circumstances. This week was a reminder of how creating stories (drawing conclusions) is damaging to self and to our relationships. I found myself just listening and observing the stories people were telling me around their particular situations. I decided to write about it because what else am I going to do at 4:00 in the morning?
The stories ranged from a friend feeling like a coworker’s actions were because they are miserable and their home life sucks, so they come to work and take it out on others, to another person being in the dumps over a social media post. She created a story around it and then posted something back in retaliation, yikes! Being passive aggressive is a waste of time and energy, c’mon. I heard another story of a friendship for over 20 years that may end because one person didn’t look out for the other and felt ignored. The common thread is that no one asked the other person why. Why did that coworker act harshly? Did that social media post mean anything? Was your friend of 20 years really ignoring you?
I acknowledge and validate their feelings because they are real. We all want to be treated with respect and care, I get it. And, it doesn’t help us at all to create a perceived ‘why’. The perceived why is not real and can cause unnecessary heartache. There have been plenty of times I’ve needed to check myself or a friend may check me. It seems easier to just make stuff up instead of just asking. Asking why requires us to be brave and vulnerable. It also removes us from the victim role to actually owning our role in the situation. If we don’t want to ask why then just take it for what it is.
Stick with the facts. What helps me is taking it for what it is. We can never know why people do what they do unless we ask them. It’s better to just take the action or inaction as that. Most of the time it’s not about you anyway.
My friend said to me once that I was one of the only people she knows that truly doesn’t care or base my life on the way others act, but that’s not true at all. My feelings get hurt too. I have to be reminded to not create a story around circumstances. I’m a work in process but I’ve been working on me for some time now. Acknowledging what’s happening with me and sticking with the facts makes it so much easier to move forward. It always helps me be at peace when I know I am coming from the best place in me. I’m doing my best and sometimes it may not be good enough.
After thinking more about the stories I found them to be a bit humorous for three reasons.
- Because it’s probably not what they think. They may have drawn the wrong conclusion.
- I have done that plenty of times and I’m sure I’ve sounded even more ridiculous than they did.
- I find humor in most things, I laugh at myself often.
The people we run into in life are reflecting back to us who we are, I’m paying attention. Thanks Universe.
Stick with the facts. Ask. Be well. Take care of your mental well-being. Self care.