Well, there I go again, getting too slap-happy and stressed from work and upcoming move, and allowing myself to make over-the-top comments and politically incendiary posts on the Almighty Facebook, which, in turn further alienates people I like and respect and with whom I truly enjoy being friends. I’m overwhelmed, under-rested, and over-caffeinated, and it’s not doing me any good to allow myself these contentious moments. What surprises me, however, are the moments in which I think I’m being amusing – hey, I amuse myself, does that count? – but either facebook is glitching out in a major way, or people are deleting my comments as quickly as I can make them. Texts, too, are not being returned, but that could be blamed on the fact that my phone is beginning its long, slow death rattle despite my excellent scotch tape repair job.
I’ve also stopped receiving reciprocal contact from several people I’ve tried to engage over the past two weeks. I mean, like, total radio silence. Have I mis-stepped? Somehow offended these people? It’s all very sudden and unexpected. It’s been hard to not experience feelings of hurt and unfairness.
Enter a lesson from The Four Agreements, the hardest for me, the one I can never seem to really learn. I get it, but I don’t accept it into my mode of being, no matter how hard I try:
Don’t take it personally.
Of course, there are appropriate times to take things personally. Some of the time, however, you’re projecting your own feelings and insecurities into other peoples’ responses to you. And sometimes it’s just that the other person in the equation is experiencing their own difficulties that have precisely zero percent relation to YOU.
Buuuut, at other times…it’s just your own damned fault. Sometimes you should take it personally, because you’ve done something wrong and the resulting backlash is something you should recognize to be a direct consequence of your actions.
I find myself apologizing a lot these days, which is disconcerting and, to be completely honest, absolutely horrid. I don’t mind apologizing when I’ve done something wrong. What I don’t like are people who over-apologize, so I’m sensitive to sounding one of those people myself. I’m also not a big fan of apologizing to people when I don’t know what I’ve done. I recognize all this probably makes me sound like an asshole. Please see first paragraph for disclaimer.
But, because I love my friends, I apologize for upsetting them even when I don’t know the root of the issue. So, there’s that. And I genuinely feel sorry for ever causing unhappiness, so it’s not as if lack sincerity.
But, gosh, if you’re reading this and you’re mad at someone – me, your spouse, your kid, your neighbor – and you haven’t calmly and explicitly told that person the reason for your malcontent, please go do that. Just….do it. Even if you think that person should know why you’re upset, give them a pass and just spell it out. Work it out. Because it sucks to be on the baffled side of the silent-treatment-method-of-fighting.
Life’s too short to be pissed off and angry, and whatever it is they’ve done to invoke your wadded panties will probably seem petty in the long run.
Love to all. Blanket apology to all I’ve angered. Sincerely and with a loving heart,