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The Plague

28 Jan

There are times we may find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation with someone else. Perhaps angry words were said or exchanged, maybe somebody did something hurtful, or we simply cannot get along. People are complex and sometimes things don’t go as well as we’d like. Because it’s not pleasant and we don’t like the interaction, we may decide to avoid the other person as much as possible. If we see them coming down a hall we’re walking, we may take a sharp turn to get out of their sight. If they try to talk to us, we may mumble something and walk away, or if they send us messages or leave them on our phone, we may ignore or delete them. It’s painful to be near someone who’s hurt us, or with whom we can’t get along, and avoiding them seems like a good answer. Maybe we figure if we avoid them long enough they will eventually go away. That might work, but sometimes the exact opposite occurs and they try even harder to get our attention. The whole situation is uncomfortable, but we can get through it and we don’t have to avoid them like the plague to navigate the situation. We have other options.

If the other person is at our workplace and we don’t have the option to quit our jobs and must work with them, or if they’re in our social circle and we don’t want to give that up, we have to find a solution. If the situation is so intense that we feel physically ill at the thought of dealing with them, the first step is to understand why we feel so bad. Once we determine what is actually causing our pain we can find a way to address it. If we’ve been hurt by something that was said, we can understand that just because someone says something, even if they believe it, doesn’t make it true. We know who we are and those who know us will recognize falsehood when they hear it. If it’s something that was done, we can understand that nothing is permanent and any damage can be corrected. If we peel back the onion on our pain, and determine the root causes, we can address them and begin to heal.

Some people are disagreeable no matter what we do. Maybe they have bad attitudes, or are intensely moody and negative, or are continually angry. We can’t change anyone but ourselves and if we’re forced to deal with someone like that, we can choose to be true to who we are and do our best no matter what choices they make. If we are insulted, we may calmly state we don’t appreciate the comment, let it go, and move on. If they do something that offends us, we can bring it to their attention, explain why it was offensive and ask them not to do it again. It takes effort to think about a situation before we act, but when we do we’ll have better success at keeping our standards where we want them, and remaining positive. It’s never pleasant to be hurt or offended. It makes us feel bad, and we may doubt our worth for a moment. But we have all we need to hold our heads high, say what is needed when appropriate, and be who we are despite the difficulty. We can be cheerful in the face of calamity, and positive when others are disagreeable. There is nothing that is too hard for us. We can do anything we want even if it’s difficult.

Today if you’re dealing with someone who has hurt you, or insulted you, or made you feel less than you are, stand strong. Make the best choices possible. Say what is needed to feel confident. You are a priceless gift. If someone doesn’t recognize that, it’s their loss, not yours. Set the example for good. You are worth the very best of everything.

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