Recently, I had an unpleasant interaction. The person, who I’ll call person A, posted something political to a private chat group, but that I felt was inappropriate, given the context of the other exchanges. Rather than challenging the post subject, I raised that very question in the chat group. The person responded by saying it was intended to bring levity and told me to shut up. I chose not respond, both for the group’s sake, and because I knew any response would lead to an escalation. The thing is, person A can be very generous and loving. But I must admit the incident bugged me.
The other day I was talking with someone, person B, who was also wrestling with an unpleasant interaction. Like me, it gnawed at him. During that talk, the image of a pebble in a shoe came to mind.
I don’t know about you, but if, while walking, I feel a pebble in my shoe, the first way I handle it is to shake my shoe so I don’t feel it and can continue walking. For a time, this works. But inevitably it comes back.
In my conversation with person B, I equated the pebble with our respective interactions. When the interaction comes to mind, sometimes we might shake our virtual foot to move it so we can forget it. But then, something jiggles it and we feel it all over again.
So, of course, the best solution is to remove it (aka let it go). But, for me that felt insufficient. Rather than simply dropping the pebble, I suggested that we might even visualize virtually giving it back to the person. Doing so, helped. This morning, I realized that I had a few other pebbles in my shoe that I need to address.
Have you found yourself in similar situations? None of us can make someone respond the way we would like. While the ideal is to talk to the person and hope to resolve the issue. Some issues are so loaded, even for both people, that talking would only increase the conflict. So, what about virtually giving the pebble back? Best wishes to all of you.
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