Have you ever met someone who instantly repelled and riled you? Who instantly made you stand ready for battle, prepared for attack? Who somehow, despite all of your best efforts to rise above and remain unruffled managed to push your buttons and turn you into a raving lunatic?? Who am I kidding, of course you have.
We vow day after day, month after month, fight after fight to remain calm, don't we. We promise ourselves we will not rise to the bait of a dangling argument, I know. It really is not worth all of that gunky stuff we end up feeling for hours and days afterwards. Am I right?
At least, this is what we tell ourselves when we are calm and alone, when the argument is not raging and spitting in our faces. When we are alone, it is relatively easy to stay calm. But when the spit starts flying... look OUT, right??
Well, I thought for sure that I was well beyond rising to that bait. After all, I've had heaps of practice. On the sidewalks of Hamburg. In the Federal courtrooms of Boston. On the beaches of Portugal and Cape Cod for bleeps sake.
Last night, I learned that I still have more to learn.
This picture reflects exactly how I felt. And I'll be honest, I've been there so many times, I can't even tell you how many times. Transatlantic screaming matches on the phone. Not pretty.
So here I am tonight, still thinking about how I handled that button pusher... And realizing that we really need to talk about this!
Scene: Last night, local networking thing, great time, great friends, great food, great venue, great networking.
Suddenly, this guy (who until then, had been really nice to everyone) cornered one of my friends, spouting super offensive one-sided political arguments at her and not even stopping to take a breath. Once we realized her plight, we swooped in for the rescue. One of my friends, who works in health care, spoke very eloquently, knowledgeably and succinctly but was met with a stony rebuff. Very smartly and politely, she moved on and away from his spittle.
I, on the other hand, felt a very big and very loud button inside of me get pushed very forcibly.
I got very emotional and realized right away that the reason for my emotional reaction was that this guy was acting EXACTLY like my ex had always acted when he got excited or upset about something. The guy was exactly the same: Spitting unattractively in my face, interrupting my every sentence, posturing self righteously and generally being a super callous and uncaring know it all jerk.
I will spare you the ugly details on what he actually said, as it turns my stomach to even think about a human being acting so selfishly, so openly and without apology.
But I totally went toe to toe with the guy, a total stranger. *sigh*
I had thought that by NOW, I would have learned how to remain detached and above it all.
Well, THAT lesson still remains unlearned. Duly noted. We all have our lessons to learn, right?
Yes, I rose to the bait and yes, I had some trouble walking away for a few minutes. First, he pushed my button and made me very angry! Reminding me so closely of my ex is not a good thing... Then second, I truly wanted to help the guy. He was such a typical schoolyard bully and so very clearly lost that I really wanted to help him... For a few minutes. Then I did wish him all the best of luck (he had to spit at me that there is no such thing as luck), put out my hand to shake his (which he refused with an immature shake of his head) and then finally walked away.
That. Felt. AWESOME.
Walking away is sometimes not just the only strategy for survival, but the best strategy for thriving.
---------------------------------------------------------- About Pamela
As your Confidence Coach, I strive to help you grow your courage, build your confidence and tap into your innate charisma.
- don't know how to use your own voice anymore - used to feel like you could do anything - wonder why no one listens to you - feel invisible most of the time - don't have a plan for your future - can't even imagine your way into next week - wonder when your goals disappeared like that - feel all bottled up like wine with a dry cork - wish you could just run away some days - hate living in an emotional battlefield or wasteland - can't remember the last time you felt good about yourself - don't know when someone last complimented you on anything - feel as if flirting was something you did in another lifetime - don't remember how to have fun
then working with me could help you to radically improve your life.
I know what it's like and how to help because the same thing happened to me. Now that I have successfully found the tools to build my courage, increase my confidence and tap into my innate charisma, I can guide you through the steps it takes to do the same and THRIVE. Email me directly at Pamela@ElasticityCoaching.com or visit my website at www.PamelaWills.com. Let's talk so we can identify your challenges and decide on your course of action. I look forward to working with you!