Board of Mis-Directors Favorite Tactics
Take It Personally!
by Diana Kardia and Karen Williams
If you listen to the Board, you’d have the impression that everything is about you. Spouse cranky? Must be something you did! That nice guy you met the other day hasn't called yet? What did you say that might have been misinterpreted? Neighbor's dog pooping on your lawn? They must have it out for you! Wind storm knocked down one of your trees? Even God is after you!
This Board tactic induces a perception that distorts situations, pours gasoline on the flames of your worst fears, and keeps you endlessly distracted trying to read meaning into even the most insignificant, irrelevant details.
The truth: what others do and how they do it has astonishingly little to do with you. Really!
We are all products of our social conditioning, preferences, personalities, and more. In addition, the person in front of you has current physical and emotional realities that you know nothing about. Their response to the world, and to you, is filtered through all of that.
Bump into me at the grocery store and I may shout at you to watch where you’re going. Sure, the bump is the triggering event, but what's really behind my anger? It may come from the bruise which was already there, or the fight I had that morning with my spouse, or my notion that someone bumping me at the store means they’re going to try to steal my wallet, or any number of other things.
In more intimate relationships, we often assume we understand our loved ones so well that we can accurately discern just how much of their actions or reactions are really about us, but even there we typically far overestimate our own relevance - thanks to the projection of our own ideas about relationships!
The Board so often chooses this particular tactic because it plays on our need to feel that our lives are significant. But the Board creates - or, rather, creates the illusion of - significance through drama. Surely having or provoking a large reaction, whether it's an outburst of anger or an expression of love or desire, proves our importance! Right? Well, no. True significance comes from the inside, through living in our truth and integrity, and bringing our best to our everyday lives, whether or not anyone else notices.
So, when you feel troubled by how someone is reacting to you, stop, take a step back, and broaden your perspective. Likewise, when you react strongly to someone, do the same thing: take a step back, broaden your perspective, and ask yourself what you’re really responding to. Once seen for the illusion that it is, that dramatic story of everything being about you becomes - well - tedious. Your true reality is much fuller and more interesting - no artificial flavorings needed!
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