A friend of mine told me, “I hate traffic!” No one likes traffic, but she actually hates it. Yes, that is a strong word, but if you heard her say it, you’d know she meant it. Traffic is inevitable, so that is a horrible thing to hate. Why not just listen to a great audiobook and turn it into sponging time?
I could tell it really took her out emotionally for a while, that it ruined her day. I thought, “How ridiculous.” How sad that traffic, something so inevitable and over which she had no control, could do that to her.
Then I stopped myself. Wait. What takes me out emotionally that probably doesn’t faze her? Crap. It is so easy to judge others based on our own perspectives. I have stressed out about breaking a glass while putting it in the dishwasher and have let loose with a curse word.
Oh, no. I thought some more. Updating my iPhone software can take me out. I avoid it as long as possible. I get so upset about having to relearn how to use my phone and access my data. Yep, sometimes I want to throw it across the room. Not something I’m proud of, but I want to be transparent to make my point. Technology can be a beautiful thing when it works. I don’t need to let it take me out emotionally.
Next time you see someone get upset about something seemingly ridiculous, do a turnaround. Ask yourself, “What do I let freak me out emotionally?” If you are completely honest with yourself, I bet you’ll think of something. I bet that other person may even think your emotional reaction is ridiculous.
As the good book says in Matthew 7:3-5,
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see.”
What if we took a deeper look at ourselves every time someone gave us an example? It could be the greatest self-development course of all time. Look out, Tony Robbins. Here comes Plank-ology. We are 100% entitled to work on ourselves. Cool. And we have no right to try to control others, even if we are correct. Another cool side effect is that it allows me to have more empathy for my friend.
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