Archive for October 9th, 2009

Draw a line

Sometimes people surprise you, and not in a good way. You initiate a friendly conversation and it turns into an argument. You expect a certain reaction and the response you get is completely different. You make a call to impart some news you think will please the recipient and instead they shout at you before hanging up on you. Healthy self-esteem enables people to weigh up such events sensibly and sometimes to shrug and move on. Those of us who find it more difficult to deal with them need to focus on a few basic principles:

  • Don’t take responsibility for anyone’s feelings but your own.
  • The other person’s reaction may or may not have anything to do with you personally, and they are under no obligation to explain it to you, or to excuse their behaviour.
  • Some disagreements and differences of view can be fixed; some can’t.

It’s useful to learn to draw a line under events instead of reliving them over and over again. If they’re really yours to fix, then fix them. If they’re not, accept that you can’t make anyone else fix them. Let them go.

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