14 July 2011

It's Just Not

I guess one of the hardest lessons for me to learn in my adult life is this: It isn't about me.  It FEELS like it's about me but it's not.  One of my favorite quotes is "We probably wouldn't worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do."  Olin Miller

It's difficult to remember when people react with snark, or over-react, or are just generally awful that it is nothing that we have done or said.  It is about them, what's going on in their heads, minds, hearts.  Chances are they are not specifically thinking "I am just  going to be horrible to this person, on purpose." 

And if they are?  That's just effed up.  And run, run away because th
ey are broken.

I used to wonder why a certain person reacted a particular way whenever there was something serious t o discuss.  I kept questioning myself and my motives.  Am I being negative?  Am I not making myself clear?  (anyone who knows me just snorted at that question)  Am I coming across in a way that I don't intend? What am I doing wrong?

Finally someone asked me "What makes you think it's about you?  What about the other person?

It was like a lightning bolt hit me.  Suddenly a montage of examples flashed through my head.  It was true, it wasn't about me.  It was about how the other person was listening, or not listening be it as it may, and behaving. 

People are so in their own heads.  They're thinking about bills, their family, their health, their issues.  They're not actively listening anymore. Everyone has so much noise in their head these days that they simply can't.  I am guilty of this as much as the other person.

But that simple statement gave me perspective.   It's not about me.  It feels like it's about me but it's not.  It's about the other person.  Their intent is not to ruin your day, their intention is solving their own issues, perhaps at your expense.

Like What About Bob says "They're just temporarily disconnected. Please try again later."   

It's not about you.


Swistle said...

I think we need "It's not about me. It FEELS like it's about me, but it's not" done in a cross-stitch. Or I might need it tattooed on my hand.

creative kerfuffle said...

amen. sometimes it is hard to realize it's not us...i mean, we're so damn awesome how could everything NOT be about us right? lol : ) but yes, i know what you mean.