You’re trying on make up in your favorite cosmetic store. Your applying cheek color in the mirror. Behind you, you see two sales associates giggling. One of them surreptitiously gestures towards you and smirks. The other one rolls her eyes.
It wrecks your day, so much so, that when you get home, you write a letter to the store manager and the president of the company.
Your best friend is stomping around, having a minor temper tantrum. She’s not really angry at you, she’s hurt about something that happened at work, but she snaps at you anyway.
You feel so hurt you tell her it’s like she “plunged a dagger” in your heart.
Your boss (or teacher) looks at a project you’ve been working hard on. She glances at it, says, “fine”, and turns back to whatever she was doing.
You feel like a deflated balloon, and go out and drown your sorrows in an expensive coffee drink.
What a bunch of jerks—they really treated you shabbily. Right? Well sort of.
Okay, they all could have behaved better. But here are some things to think about:
How many times have you felt or expressed disdain, even mild disdain, for someone?
Got caught up in your own emotions and cried or yelled, disregarding the feelings of others who were present?
Treated someone else’s concerns dismissively, not to be mean but because you were more focused on yourself?
We’ve all put our own emotional and physical needs before others at times. That’s okay, as long as we’re aware of this and try to correct it.
But we must also recognize that when others do it, it, too, might be a mistake or momentary lapse, they may be trying to correct it also.
Perhaps, you just stepped into a less-than-perfect moment, a lapse that they’ll regret.
Sometimes, others have these “moments” more regularly and you’re on the receiving end. Then you may have to rethink the relationship as well as the way you interact in these relationships.
Being “dumped” on by another may come to be manipulative. Abusive, even.
But what if you’re in relationships where you have to, choose to, or want to “put up” with other people and their stuff? Perhaps it’s a boss, teacher, or irritable relative. Then you can choose to let them have their tantrums, their tears, their jeers, their pain, their rudeness, their stuff.
Because it’s not me, it’s them.
It’s not about me, it’s about them.
They are not me.
You are not me.
If someone around you is rude, angry, dismissive? Let them! Because their rudeness, anger, dismissiveness, is about them.
Think: It’s your stuff, not mine.
Don’t take their stuff on. If they are dumping on you, don’t internalize their pain or anger or rudeness or snobbery or ridicule or disdain.
Think: It’s you, not me.
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Last reviewed: 4 Sep 2013