Did Someone Rip Your Head Off?

"Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something." - ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Today, I took the brunt of someone’s frustration with someone else in their life. It’s a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Luckily, I understand it’s not me, so I don’t have to internalize it and feel bad.

This happens in relationships where we are someone’s punching bag. If the H. Jackson Brown Jr quote is true that everyone is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something, then it would stand to reason we all have the capability of running into someone at the exact moment they are experiencing something scary.

It reminds me of a time I was at the Airport and someone freaked out quickly and said, ‘My contact lens! Everybody stop!’ Well, there must have been many sympathetic people who have lost their lenses before because they obeyed the guy immediately. Everyone froze as though they were turned to stone by a wicked witch. They had the respect to sympathize because they had been through it. Most people instinctively crouched instead of walked and started to scour the floor. Someone finally pointed and said there it is and the person who lost it, picked it up and walked over and gave a very grateful handshake with a big smile and said thank you. Their thank you was followed up by an apology to everyone for snapping their heads off at the moment they realized they lost it.

This is a case of cutting each other some slack because the people who also wear contact lenses could relate to the loss the man was feeling.

People who have fully experienced fear and loss seem to be the best at giving hugs. They have the ability to diagnose the problem almost without asking and I think they put themselves in the shoes of the truly sad. They can put themselves there easily because they have either been there or are going through the same thing at the same time.

It’s one thing to comfort sadness, but I believe it’s a completely different skill to comfort anger. It’s so easy to think it’s directed to us especially if they are within inches of our face. Now I have always said that we don’t have to be anyone’s punching bag, but in the same token, if it truly isn’t towards us, if we are just witnessing frustration, the best thing we can do is crouch down and help look for the lens. The people at the airport were interested in a solution first. Then they all smiled and giggled at the hot-headed man because I think they may have done the same thing; that is what it means to cut each other some slack.

The brunt of frustration that I received wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. I tried to focus on coming to a quick sympathetic solution and then it calmed down fairly quickly. I received an apology and we laughed about it. I cut the slack because I recognized that I had done the same thing to someone who didn’t deserve it. It’s another form of paying-it-forward. Had it escalated to the point where it passed into abusive language, that would be a different story. This was a fairly easy fix when rational dialog was applied. I just received it at the exact time of day they were feeling especially hot-headed. No big deal, people are passionate.

December can be a different type of stress for people too. The holiday season is supposed to be cheerful, but truthfully, it’s a time when people really beat themselves up for not having the money for gifts. If you are starting off with new kids in the family, my humble suggestion is to set a standard of one or two gifts in the event that in future years you don’t have the money. I think too many people have gone overboard in the past, so the expectation is to one-up the last year or at least match it. But, kids are more resilient than we think. If we explain that money is tight and that it’s just a situation that has nothing to do with our love for them, most kids (if we give them the credit) are pretty understanding. Taking them to see less fortunate people can also put it in perspective. There are things in this life that truly deserve our attention and our frustration over the small things.

It’s good to know that we aren’t alone in our fear, frustration, anger and loss. There is a good chance someone you meet today will be feeling it. The best thing we can do is show some tolerance, cut some slack and offer a hug or solution.

I am so impressed with how many people in my life have offered to be a listener. That is more valuable to most people. Coming to a solution is much easier than trying to get rid of fear and the feeling of loss.

Glad I don’t wear contact lenses, they sound like they cost a hundred thousand dollars each,

Karen :)

One of my very favorite quotes;

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Plato

1 comment:

  1. Love that you talked about"holiday spedin'~!!" LOL... People really shouldn;t be money~minded, It's the Heart that counts ~!! All year round~!!!