In life, we have all experienced the misplaced verbal assault of someone in a place of fear. It happens. There have been times where I have delivered the attack only to later realize that my uncertainty about a situation seeped out sideways leaving people I care recovering from my attack. It wasn’t about them.
It took me a very long time to realize that those situations are not about me. One of my favorite acronyms is QTIP (quit taking it personally). When I can separate the emotion of feeling attacked and look at the person who is delivering, I gain perspective and even compassion. There is so much grace in that. Of course, I am human, and it might not happen immediately. It is natural to want to defend yourself. It is natural to be angry, hurt, and frustrated. But, I have found that my immediate reaction is diffused a lot quicker when I acknowledge that it is not personal.
I had a situation recently where I could connect the dots easily. The week had been difficult for this individual and I had been of service as much as I could. Her level of fear and anxiety was heightened as a result of feeling that she wasn’t in control of certain situations, so she unloaded on me. Of course, I reacted, but my reaction meter was blended with firmness not anger. I knew the source of her frustration and it wasn’t about me. Being able to separate the emotion from the person has certainly been a useful tool. Sometimes it is a quick recovery while other times a gradual one. Honestly, it really depends on my own emotional state. But, my one takeaway is that other people’s emotional residue doesn’t have to steal away my peace or happiness. It took me a long time to figure out that I don’t have to burden myself with other people’s crap.