How do you manage the behaviour of others?

I remember clearly when I was a kid, sitting in the car with my mother, and someone would cut her off. She used the expression, ‘Big car small mind’. She called them a chauvinist and other such references to men that are not very flattering.

I had no idea what that word was but when it was followed by the word pig, I knew it wasn’t a pleasant energy in the car. I had the uncanny ability to imagine that the human in question, was rushing to hospital to be with his sick wife or child, or some other emergency was happening. When I gave voice to this view, mother would shut me down, telling me I was always against her. It was a refrain I heard time and time and time and time again.? It is a bit rough for a 4 or 5 year old to hear that refrain repeatedly.

I didn’t understand what was happening. I did however learn the habit. I arrived at a point in my life, where being sensitive and insecure, I could make the behaviour of others about me. If someone fell on the street, I would feel guilty as If I had pushed them over myself. If two people were arguing and I was in the vicinity I couldn’t help but feel as if I was in the argument myself and I was the one loosing.? I brought it through my life.

When people who were in positions of authority, threw their weight around, I felt it was because of me, something was wrong with me, it was my fault. To draw a clearer analogy, if you threw a stick in my direction, I would take that stick up and beat myself long after you had walked away and forgotten about me.? If you communicated badly with me, or didn’t communicate at all, I knew it was because I was unlikable, unattractive and stupid. Yes that is how bad it got for me.

I have made great strides over years, doing my inner work, my ancestral work and my meditations. It has been a slow gentle process to learn that I am not the cause of peoples misery but I am not the cause or even target of their behaviour anyway.? Someone who is thoughtless towards me, is thoughtless. It’s their way. It’s got nothing to do with me. Someone who is cutting me off on the street probably is attending to an emergency, or just not paying attention. I don’t decide their action is aimed at me anymore. I find it more useful to realise they cut me off because they haven’t seen me. They are certainly not thinking about me. They are just thinking about themselves or someone else.

I was reminded of it again this week. There was a small incident where I was supposed to be involved in a project. I looked forward to the escape. I found out from someone else they got the job. I was delighted for them, but upset for myself and started running that old dialogue through my head. They don’t like me, they are only tolerating me, and so on. I had to work to calm myself down and take a clear stance on what really happened. What really happened was just another decision was made, and it wasn’t communicated to me. That is all. No one was trying to hurt me, apart from myself. The project will be done which is the main thing, and I have had other opportunities arise that would not have been otherwise possible if plan A had gone into action. These are not excuses but facts.

So when someone is thoughtless, or agressive, or behaving in a way that is not conducive to happiness, what do you do with that behaviour? Can you see that it’s nothing to do with you? It’s not your circus and not your monkeys. Give yourself a? break, accept and try to see their humanity, reach out and help out if appropriate or communicate your feelings, and then move on to the next thing.

If you enjoy these blogs, give me a shout out and let me know you are there. A positive word from time to time, can prevent us all from taking up the stick and beating ourselves right?

Have a great Week.

1 Comment

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  1. The thing I do my best to tell myself nowadays is, “I choose joy.” It is a simple phrase that seems to suit almost every situation. If I wake feeling anxious and I’m not sure why? I say to myself, “I choose joy.” If I haven’t heard from a friend and I find myself worrying, I say, “I choose joy,” if I look at myself in the mirror and wish I looked different for this or that reason, I remind myself, “I choose joy.”

    The way we feel in any given situation is our choice, as you say. Breathing into the moment with a conscious joyfulness reminds me of that truth. Sure, sometimes I need to say it a few times. Sometimes I close my eyes a few seconds longer and breathe a little deeper. But all in all, this simple thought makes a world of difference for me.

    Thanks for askin’

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