polychromatic22: (down)
[personal profile] polychromatic22
Everybody wants to be right, always. They want everyone to understand their motivations, everyone to agree with everything they do. When they mess up, they want other people to understand why it happened, and assure them that they understand, that it's no big deal, that it can happen to anyone.

When someone gets mad at you, do you immediately go on the defensive? Do you want to explain how nothing you did was wrong, and have them apologise for being mad? When you're mad at someone, are you open to seeing their side of things? Are you open to believing that you misconstrued, misperceived, or misjudged?

Do you really and truly want the issue to be resolved, or do you want to be vindicated in your views?

Have an open heart.

The person that you are at odds with is, in many ways, yourself.

What is most frustrating in having someone mad at you is what it says about you. If you didn't care about someone else's assessment of you, or perhaps didn't feel that this assessment is true on some level, or perhaps didn't feel like this assessment has been made before and you don't understand why, you would shake it off and walk away. But, you care. So, why do you care? Do you care about their judgement? Why? Are they someone who you put value on? Are their judgements often true? Do you feel that these judgements are true about you and you are unhappy with that part of yourself? Did you actually find yourself doing something that you are truly unhappy with and now you don't want to face that? Do you feel that these judgements of you are untrue, but have been made multiple times in the past and you want to understand why you are judged in that particular way? What is it about the issue that bothers you?

Approach that. Honestly. Discover what it is inside you that bothers you about the issue. At that point, go to person you are at odds with. Explain your thinking and what about the situations hurts you. Do not be defensive, do not be offensive. Do not be quick to judge. Do not be sensitive to them understanding you. You are simply giving your side. It is up to them to take it or not. You can't force someone else to do anything, or understand anything. They might be quite hurt and confused right now. Maybe they feel rejected. Maybe they feel that you don't care about them. Maybe they feel that you do not value them. Maybe they feel that you don't understand them. Whatever they feel, know that they are hurt.

Is your hurt more important than listening to them? You might be entirely in the right, but that doesn't really mean *anything*. Life is a learning experience. You can't learn anything if you are not open to replacing what you already know. This doesn't mean changing who you are. It simply means being open to new ideas. If you are too busy being "right" to listen to someone else's ideas of how things are for them, then you will never learn anything. You will not learn more about yourself, you will not learn more about the world, you will not learn more about people, and you will not learn more about the particular person in question.

What you learn from these things are varied. Sometimes you learn how you should change (the way you look at things, the way you act). Sometimes you learn how other people should change (which you can't control, so let this one out of your hands). Sometimes you learn that particular people and you do not mesh, or that your way of moving about the universe is diametrically opposed to theirs and that you would do best to not move about the universe together.

All of these lessons on apology and an open heart were learned slowly by me at various times in my life (I have a lot of experience in being wrong), but most were taught by my ex husband in the 10+ years of our relationship. These thoughts were inspired by a conversation that I had with someone where they came to me and told me that someone was mad at them and asked what they could do. I laid it out in easy to digest pile, and offered up my experiences and thoughts. I don't know that they are actually in a place where they can *hear* these ideas. But, hey, maybe you are. Maybe these ideas can do something for you. Maybe you have something to offer, also, on the subject of apology and keeping an open heart.
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Janel

July 2012

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