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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Love When the Air’s Toxic

Everyone rues the day they encounter the person who presses all the wrong buttons, particularly the “off” button. Grace has been saved for this situation, yet even grace wants to quickly depart.

Love is easy when we encounter those like us. Those that bamboozle our sense of what’s right and fair, however, leave us momentarily confused for an answer; even to a point that finds us embarrassed. It’s so much worse if this one is close by—a boss, a parent (or child), or a spouse!

Loving people can seem impossible when the air’s found toxic.

First, Understanding

Standing back from difficult situations always helps. That’s not always easy, though, when we’re right in the middle of madness.

Understanding helps, nevertheless, when we see three dimensions at separate glances. We need a mindset which is able to depict them, us, and the situation as able to be optimised independent of the others.

Understanding them, and where they come from, will surely help. We don’t have to agree with their methods to be able to appreciate why those methods have been devised and why they are used.

Understanding ourselves is sometimes too close to home. What is this lack of tolerance really saying about us? How comparably exasperating is this person to others? How do others find them more tolerable?

Finally, there’s the situation we find ourselves in. Events trigger emotions without thought or recognition; suddenly, we find ourselves in a flurry of negativity. What is it about these events that we find troublesome; what about them can we predict?

Next, Strategise

Seeing from the abovementioned separable viewpoints will help us strategise.

We need an approach for each discrete angle of view—one for the other person, one for ourselves, and then one for the situation.

If our boss has needs of us, yet their way of motivating us is a turnoff, it can help if we detach ourselves and see through his or her eyes, taking note also of the situation. Running ourselves through certain interactions and situations will help us mount strategies.

Family members pose unique challenges. You can choose your friends, even your workplace... we know where this is heading. With no slight on any family member, in our right minds we know, generally speaking, they are not the only ‘problem’.

Finally, When All Else Fails Learn to Laugh

There is an abundance of situations in life that press our buttons.

Responses of confusion, anger, reticence, or downright avoidance are indicators of mismanaged interactions and they are opportunities to rise to new or existing challenges.

Our feelings and thoughts are golden clues. We are in control more than we think. Problems can be seen as opportunities.

We underestimate the power of humour, and of taking space. We have three angles of humour to enjoy: them and their nature; us and our nature; and, finally, the situational complexities. All of these are somewhat laughable in the right light.

(Beyond humour we perhaps need to engineer change—this involves courage and stamina.)

How might we look back on these situations now and laugh in five years time?

Love’s made possible in difficult situations as we take a step back in our hearts, draw a deep metaphorical breath, and armed with renewed understanding we see what we usually can’t.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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