The other day I was trying to back out of a tight spot.
A huge Comcast van, to my right, blocked my ability to see on-coming traffic. I nudged out, slowly, terrified to get nicked, but I couldn’t see beyond van.
I fed the gas, not hard, but just enough to see and a man who came out of nowhere, walking very closely to where I was pulling out. I almost hit him. Ugh.
He made himself clear as he slapped my car violently, came around to the front of my car and persisted to chew me out. The window was up but his shouting pierced through the glass.
I was astonished by his rage.
He could have walked on the sidewalk, instead of behind cars with blind spots. His anger made me defensive, but I had just come from a yoga class so instead of reacting, which is so easy for me to do when I’m already running late, have 50 thousand things to do, clients waiting for me, yadda, yadda, yadda, I put the window down and calmly said, “I can’t see beyond the van and I am sorry if I scared you.”
I saw him prepared to duke it out, as if he had already assumed I was going to fight fire with fire.
The post-yoga calmness I exuded struck him by surprise.
He was about to yell at me some more until he realized I was both validating his fear and taking responsibility. Disgruntled, he murmured to himself as he wandered off. I think he said, “Be more careful next time.”
Though I could have counter argued and fought him till I was blue in the face, I didn’t even go there. The guy could have just gotten dumped, fired, woke up on the wrong side of the bed, felt genuinely threatened and frightened. I surely didn’t want to exacerbate whatever issues he had.
It is so easy to get pulled into someone else’s drama and take things personally.
I know I am not perfect. I do take things personally, but the more I DON’T react to someone else’s trip, even if I have had a part to play in it, the more I free myself from the fight.
The way someone reacts (most of the time) is about them, not me. And not you.
Choose your battles wisely, and try not to take things personally. You will find that if you practice this, every time you have one of those knee jerk reactions, life will be simpler.
I have shared a great story about how to not take things personally? How do you react in heated situations? How often do you take things personally? I’d love to hear from you. Leave your comments in the box below.
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About the Author:
Hayley Hobson is a yogi, Pilates and nutrition expert based in Boulder, CO. Hayley creates lifestyle transformations by coaching her clients to strengthen, nourish and evolve through the cycles and shifts in life. Combining cutting edge understanding of all three disciplines of Pilates, yoga and nutrition due to years of anatomical study and dietary theory, Hayley’s approach leverages their blended benefits and results. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening–empowering her client’s to heal not only their physical bodies, but their hearts and minds as well. Hayley is the creator of the Strengthen, Nourish and Evolve Nutrition and Detox Programs. Enrollment is open and www.snenutrition.com. To find Hayley, visit her website www.hayleyhobson.com or visit her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hayleyhobon or Pinterest www.pinterest.com/hayleyhobson69.