Let’s set the stage.
You get into a discussion, which turns into an argument. You take the other person’s words personally, and inevitably get your feelings hurt. Now what?
One of the greatest distractions, seductions, and temptations is to “get” our feelings hurt. To obsess about how another person behaves or responds is an easy and expected way of being, right? However, my invitation to you is to let it go. (Easier said than done, I know.)
We are constantly in the practice of letting go — letting go of past hurts, resentments, ways of being, and thought processes. While it can feel hard to let go, ease up your resistance and use your energy for your own life, passions, and desires instead.
Because, here’s the truth: How others respond or behave is largely an indication of what is occurring in their world, not yours.
That which motivates other people is their business. The more interesting and worthwhile exploration is what motivates you? Why do you behave the way you behave? And how can you practice caring for your mental and emotional well-being, allowing others to do what they do while staying unattached in the process?
When an interaction occurs that makes you uncomfortable, don’t get offended.
Get curious instead.
The next time you feel yourself getting offended, consider the following:
What story am I telling myself about this person that I am deeply committed to being right about?
How many people am I committed to getting on board with this story about this person?
What am I really wanting from this person that I think will make me feel better?
How might I care for myself in this moment instead of focusing all my energy on someone else?
What is my emotional body calling for?
One of my favorite adages is to “keep your side of the street clean.” When we start taking someone else’s inventory — keeping score of how they’re behaving — we’ve placed the source of our approval, security, and control in their hands, not ours. That is not only unfriendly to ourselves but unfair to the other person.
Consider that all of our relationships are perfect practice partnerships. Your soul called in the right and perfect friends, family, provocateurs, lovers, employers, and neighbors to serve up a healthy dose of rich learning. The question is: Will you take them up on the learning?
Or will you look for occasions to be offended?
If your tendency is to get defensive or take the interaction personally, that’s great feedback. Flip the script (on your own mind) and commit to turning everything into a perfect ingredient for your highest and greatest expression. Here are a couple questions to reframe your own mind:
If I were to stand in another person’s shoes, how does their perception or experience make sense?
What is this person here to teach me?
I am always amused when I hear people say “I am offended.” Please understand that may be one of the greatest energy suckers in your human experience. How you internalize the feedback of the world that comes your way is your responsibility.
No one can offend you — you choose to be offended.
The universe is always giving you feedback. That feedback comes through interactions with others. Are you really paying attention?
Experiencing the beauty of life as a dance “with” and “for” versus a battle “against” is life giving. It will improve your immune system, increase your vitality, and generate a wellspring of creativity.
So, let go of preconceived notions, give others the benefit of the doubt, and focus a little more on yourself.