Tag Archives: Dodge

The Checkout Line

29 Jun

Unfortunately in our lives, there are some situations that make us uncomfortable, and sometimes there is no way to escape them. Maybe your boss wants to talk to you about an assignment you’ve been dreading, or your friend is having a bad day and dumping it all over you, or a family member is calling because you haven’t been available and they are upset, or a million other situations come up that are uncomfortable. Because we know these things are difficult we may try to dodge them. We may ignore the phone and not answer it, duck the other way down the hall when we see someone coming, or pretend we don’t see the person we are avoiding as we rush by. Those strategies work temporarily, but eventually we have to deal with whatever is waiting for us. We can try to check out, but that only delays the inevitable.

Checking out is something we all do from time to time. If we’re in an uncomfortable or boring conversation that seems never ending, we zone out. As my former boss used to say, “We go to our happy place.” I’m not sure if where we go is happy, but it is away from the situation we’re in, which may help for the moment. The benefit of doing this is that while we’re checked out of the present, we aren’t listening to whatever is making us uncomfortable. But the down side is that as long as we’re checked out, the situation cannot change. If we don’t address the issue, decide to talk openly about it, and share our perceptions and understanding, the situation will not change. And the best thing to do when we’re in an uncomfortable situation is try to change it to a more positive scenario. In order to do that, we have to be there. We have to be present.

Being present when we’re uncomfortable takes some effort. We don’t want to be there so it takes discipline, and it may take courage. We have to choose to be there. We have to recognize that is the only way out. It seems counter intuitive that the way out is to be in, but that’s how it works. We have to stay in the situation to change it. We have to check back in.

Today if you find yourself in a difficult conversation, or an uncomfortable situation, choose to be there for it. Listen completely, and calmly share your perceptions, and views. Make suggestions to change things so they work better for you. There is nothing so confusing or difficult that you can’t figure it out. But you have to be there to do that. Between stations, the radio only plays static. If we want music in our lives, we have to tune in. So plan to tune in. You don’t need any more static in your life. Check in, turn things around and harmony will return.