Friday, April 12, 2013

Lessons From the Edge

Don't take it personally.

It's really hard sometimes, but we need to do it.

Or, NOT do it, as the case may be.

We were sitting in our staff meeting Monday morning and a couple of my co-workers were discussing a "situation". Seems a family member of one of the residents talked with one of the kitchen staff over the weekend, and that particular staff person took offense at what was said to her. She thought the family member was rude and mean and she was quite hurt by the way that person spoke.
As my co-workers continued talking about the situation, more things were revealed about the circumstances facing that family member: difficulties dealing with her mother, trying to manage her father's back pain, frustration with mixed up communication, and on it went. Until someone piped up, "She probably didn't mean to be rude. She was probably just tired from everything else going on in her life with her parents." And another added, "Yeah. We can't take these things personally."

In the moments which followed that revelation we all agreed - many of our interactions with family members of residents fall under the same conditions. Most of the time we are dealing with rude people, it isn't because they're malicious. Rather, they're tired and are responding to their frustrating circumstances.
We do everyone a disservice if we take a bad attitude personally.

That conversation got me thinking about interactions I have with people outside of Edgewood. How many times do I get bothered by the way someone treats me, feeling like they're just being mean? Yet I really have no idea what they've been facing that day. It could very well be they aren't being mean on purpose. They might just be having a rough time with life - and I happen to be on the receiving end of their frustration. Oh, how I would benefit by letting those rude comments roll right off my back.

Can you see how you would benefit in the same way?

The next time you're face to face with someone who is being less-than-sweet to you, and you feel like getting upset because of their treatment - try remembering that they might be in the middle of a hard time, and it may be they're just blowing off steam.
Then do yourself a favor: Don't take it personally.



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

This is a great reminder to me today as I go to work with too little sleep. I must remember, in each interaction, to be patient, kind, and loving. Help me, Lord.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about this train of thought seriously just 2 days ago. I'm better now at reminding myself that when someone offends me or is particularly rude to me that they are probably going through something tough that I don't know about. I also think though, that if we don't have healthy boundaries, this concept is more difficult to understand. I went through times in my life when my relation boundaries weren't healthy, so therefore my interactions with others was always very personal. Do you know what I mean. Like, when somebody is moody or being mean to me, I always would think "they must be mad at me about something" or "what did I do." I have learned that when we are unhealthy with boundaries, we don't separate our selves from others well, so others feelings/emotions can become our own. Woops, just my 2 cents, sorry for my drawn out response....he he...went off on a tangent here. Your post got me reflecting alot....I agree with you!hugs***chera

Sara K. said...

I so agree! It would be wonderful, in a perfect world, if we ALL responded kindly to one another. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. (Rats!) I try to remind myself of this when people are rude on the roadways... that I have no idea what their day has been like, what might be troubling them, what illness they or their loved ones might be facing... or maybe they're just lost...