How many of us are good at compartmentalizing? I don’t mean the kind where you don’t think about upcoming obligations or the job list your spouse gave you while you watch a football game, but the difficult kind where we need to separate pain from problems. In this case I mean the pain caused by other peoples words because of their own problems.
We feel that pain of unjustified words and often it is harsh and definitely unfair. Here is the hard part. We need to analyze where the pain came from immediately – the sooner the better – in order to recognize whose problem has really come to the surface. Just like the old story where the couple gets in a fight at breakfast and then the man walks out the door and kicks the dog on his way down the sidewalk, when we are the dog and can recognize it, we can remain and react in a healthy manner.
Open, good communication helps to suss out the root of such eruptions but sometimes there is not a thing to be done but move on. It helps, once you recognize that the attacking person’s attitude and words are not your problem – it’s theirs. That perspective allows you to put the pain or tears or broken heart into their proper place. Yes the words hurt you or rather they hurt your feelings – but here it is – move on.
Life isn’t fair. I am always trying to make it fair and I need to stop expecting that from other people. I need to let the chips fall where they may because too often other people don’t see my intentions, my heart, and I am the one who ends up getting hurt. If someone doesn’t see the need for fairness – that’s on them – not me. I do the best I can and that’s all anybody can do. Unless you walk in someone else’s shoes – you cannot know what is at the root of their pain. The healthier you get (emotionally healthy) the more you realize you don’t need to know their pain or make it your problem and yet you can still be supportive and kind.
The Holidays magnify feelings of loneliness, stress, and unmet expectations. It is the worst time of year for suicide, depression, drug and alcohol abuse. Remember, others may have gotten kicked and are now biting back but we don’t have to make that choice.