“Simplify life” is one big agenda me and many of my friends have for 2017. Perhaps, the chaos in the past years have finally convinced us of the importance of prioritizing? Or maybe the generally negative outlook of 2017 economy forced us to subconsciously want to tone down to better embrace the impact?
For me, it was to save my sanity.
A communication breakdown took place in a WhatsApp group chat last week. Then, I received private messages accusing me of things that my team and I did not do. As much as I love retaliation, I paused at that moment telling myself to stay calm. Knowing fighting back at that moment will only make things worse, and reinforce the kind of bad impression the sender already had of me. Instead, I fed the sender some facts of what actually happened, which he refused to acknowledge.
I respect his rights and I apologized.
Just when I thought I had left what happened behind, things he said about me kept ringing in my head over the weekends. And before I knew it, they sunk in. I was very upset because I did not expect such comments from someone I love and trust.
Oh, you didn’t know I was this drama?
So was I!
Instead of resolving that emotion, I suppressed it. And by Monday, I couldn’t hold in anymore and I just burst into tears at my 1-to-1 meeting with my mentor. At that moment, I felt utterly shameful and stupid for acting like a baby.
Fortunately, my mentor wasn’t annoyed by my out-of-logic-act. He used this opportunity to explain to me what I should do to handle myself in situations like this. And as we continued our conversations I suddenly had an aha moment.
I looked back to the many organizations I joined and noticed the same pattern that kept recurring – one group would split into cliques and different cliques would secretly fight against one another.
Many of those I left eventually because I was disappointed.
It seems to me that many communication breakdown and dramas were inevitable because we are dramatic in nature. No, I was kidding. In all seriousness, though, I think it’s actually because we are all very bad at managing our own expectations (of other people)!
Let me rephrase that.
I was bad at managing my expectations of people.
And I was bad at handling myself in conflicts.
I thought running away from situations like that would resolve them but I was wrong. I realized that it only worked a while and the same thing would happen again elsewhere. Isn’t that what life is? The same thing keeps going on and on until you learn the lessons you were supposed to pick up?!
So I’ve learned:-
- That some people constantly act out of fears and insecurities
- Accept the fact that you will never please everyone
- When in conflict, don’t run away
- Explain the facts, leave out the emotions
- Examine drama/conflict from third-party’s point of view
- Don’t keep feeding yourself crazy comments from other people
For my own sanity and happiness, though, I will continue to walk out of dramas and stay away from any nonsense.
I now say to myself:
Life’s too short to spend around people who don’t love you.
And it’s even worse to spend it with people who kept thinking or talking bad about you like you’re in this quest to hurt them.
Get a life!