That’s Mine

3 Jul

Sometimes because of something we care deeply about, we may state our case in forceful ways. We want to make a point, and we want to be clear. It’s good to clarify where we stand, but sometimes we may go too far. We become too strong in our statements, and instead of helping others understand our position, we tell them how it is. And when that happens, we sometimes offend them. Even if offense was never in our plan, it can happen. People are complicated, and everyone has a different level of tolerance for intensity. Some people translate it into conflict. Some people can manage a lot of heated discussion, and others shrink from it. Nobody is exactly like us, and we must remember that. What may seem fine to us, may be offensive to someone else. We can say that’s their issue, and it is. But if it alienates them from us, it’s also our issue.

There is a lot going on in our lives all the time. We are busy, we are often stressed, we are in a hurry, and sometimes we forget to be considerate, and careful with the feelings of others. We run over them with our ideas and decisions, and we don’t wait for their response. We get in, get it done, and get out. When we do that, things will get done, but we may also damage the relationships we need to go forward. It’s better to be the one that includes other ideas, and brings others into the discussion. It’s more effective to ask for input, as well as give our suggestions. Life is all about give AND take. If we’re so sure we’re right, so sure we have it figured out, so sure of ourselves, our attitude may restrict others from joining us. And it can cause problems. It’s better to express ourselves in ways where others feel welcome, and valued.

If we do something that hurts someone else, it belongs to us. If we feel passionately about something but express that passion in ways that offends others, it belongs to us. If we inadvertently hurt someone by something we’ve said or done, it belongs to us. There is no way to push the ownership of anything onto someone else if we’ve done it. We own it. It’s ours, and because it’s ours, we’re the only ones who can make it right. We’re the only ones who can correct the slight. We will answer for everything we do, so if we’ve hurt someone, we need to take the next step, and try to repair the damage.

Today if you have something important that you need to discuss, something you feel strongly about, remember the feelings of those you address. They may process things differently. They may need a little time. They may have suggestions for you. Everything you want to accomplish will be easier with others on your side. Let them in. Tell them how you feel, and let them join you. Be clear, and be strong, but also be open, patient, and welcoming. An army of one can only do the work of one. But an army of friends, can conquer anything.

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