I can’t just cut people off like that…
Said one of my friends less than a week ago, and not for the first time. I’m ‘brutal’ apparently.
‘We just deal with these things in different ways’. Maybe.
My standard response when apparently burned by anyone (which I am completely aware is irritating as hell when someone just wants to sit and bitch about someone else) is to accept it, and move forwards. This is not my fight, that person has their own fight, I was collateral damage, and that really is fine by me. I often hold up my hands, back away and change direction. ‘Just like that’ they scoff.
Actually, not just like that, I’ve spent many years getting caught up in it all. Making myself sick, worrying, stressing, getting into debt and even putting myself in danger. Thinking that I could save someone who blatantly doesn’t want saving, or that a good old slagging off with my friends about someone who’s about to join us for dinner is perfectly normal behaviour.
But in that believing that I was ever relieving some sort of imaginary tension for myself or for my friends by saying all of these really negative things about someone, I was literally enabling the creation of an incredibly toxic environment around us all. Often by unintentionally (sometimes intentionally) turning people against someone else because it suited my motive, to have them ‘on my side’, although now I look back knowing more about it all, no-one ever actually was. We’re all on our own side when we’re stuck in this particular cycle.
See, we love a bit of drama. The adrenaline it produces when someone sits down ready to explode with hatred, frustration, something awful that’s happening to them (because it’s not happening to us) and ‘how dare they’, ‘what will you say?’, ‘she can’t get away with that’ and so on, it’s a very real thing. But it’s a surface level response to the ‘real’, real thing.
‘Just getting it off my chest’, and talking about how you actually feel are two very separate things (specially if you’re freeing your chest of the same thing on the regular). Spending an hour mulling over your own role in a situation and how to move forwards vs laying blame on someone else for their actions and how outrageous they are for whatever they did (or likely didn’t do) to you. Believing you are important enough to overrule everything that is going on for that person – the audacity. The narcissism (*gasp*).
It’s in us all and it’s completely natural, to a degree anyway, the personal offence that we take when someone is rude, mean or aggressive towards us. But it’s how we use that to move forwards that makes the difference. I’m not talking about deep trauma here, just the surface stuff, let’s save that for another time, although the same basic principle does apply.
I have a personal mission in this world, and getting wrapped up in or even enabling your feelings of anger or hatred towards another serves no purpose to me. It certainly doesn’t serve my own purpose. I’m all about the bigger picture these days and I only wish I’d not wasted so much of my own time and indeed that of my friends, family and colleagues gone by, on the distraction that is drama.
If you want to talk about how that person made you feel and explore your own issues with that situation, I’m here with an open ear and probably some chocolate. I enjoy digging deep into our emotional response to people and situations, as hard as that can get sometimes, it’s personal development at it’s finest and all part of this wonderful journey we’re on, as long as we are grateful for it. It may feel shit, but acceptance, forgiveness and ultimately gratitude really is liberating.
My energy is precious to me and I won’t waste it. Nor should you (mine, or yours!).