15 August 2012

Bad Apples.

One of my fellow Bliss Sisters (who I am yet to meet but still feel connected to by default of the amazing group energy) posted the inspiration below, and I felt encouraged to share it with my friends.

Because life requires that we interact with different personalities, it is not uncommon for us to encounter a situation where there is one person whose behavior may negatively impact the experiences of others. Someone who is loud and crass can interrupt the serenity o
f those who come together to practice peace. A disruptive worker can cause rules to be imposed that affect their colleagues‚ professional lives. A team member who is pessimistic or highly critical may destroy the morale of their fellow members. And one "bad apple" in your personal life can be a potent distraction that makes it difficult to focus on the blessings you've been given and the people who love you.

There may always be people in your life who take it upon themselves to create disruption, foster chaos, stamp out hope, and act as if they are above reproach even when, in doing so, they put a blight on their own experiences. But you don't need to allow their negativity and callousness to sour your good mood. Often, our first impulse upon coming head-to-head with a bad apple is to express our anger and frustration in no uncertain terms. However, bad apples only have the power to turn our lives sour if we let them.
If you can exercise patience and choose not to respond to their words or actions, you will significantly limit the effect they are able to have on you and your environment. You can also attempt to encourage a bad apple to change their behavior by letting your good behavior stand as an example. If your bad apple is simply hoping to attract notice, they may come to realize that receiving positive attention is much more satisfying than making a negative impression. While you may be tempted to simply disassociate yourself entirely from a bad apple, consider why they might be inclined to cause disturbances. Understanding their motivation can help you see that bad apples are not necessarily bad people. Though bad apples are a fact of life, minimizing the impact you allow them to have upon you is empowering because you are not letting anyone else affect the quality of your experiences. You may discover that buried at the very heart of a bad apple is a seed of goodness." by Madisyn Taylor 

This post couldn't have come at a better time for me. It is definitely encouraging to me as I learn how to cope with bad apples in my life and still maintain my high spirits. Instead of tossing out the bad apples, I should be a shining, ruby example to those people who may bring me down. I haven't been doing that lately... and it's upsetting to look at those times that I was out of control of my emotions around those people.

I find that when I struggle to keep "bad apples" around, it often shortens my fuse and makes me overly emotional when I try to convey to them MY perspective on things. But that reactive attitude is just fighting fire with fire. We both end up anxious to convert the other person to our own beliefs, and, by default, lose all our abilities to listen and empathize with the other. That is extremely counterproductive and just outright hurtful. I hate when people shut down and lose their rationality, so why in the world would I want to be that person. I DON'T!

I need to lead by example rather than forcing my own beliefs down people's throats. I could list a million books those negative people should read and recite quotes and mantras that I believe would make their lives better. But at the end of the day, that's not my job. I should be more focused on bettering myself (not others) so that I can indeed be that shining example. Because even though I read all of those materials, I am still struggling myself to put them into practice! I have my OWN work to do. We don't have to agree on everything, or ANYthing for that matter. But I can still be loving and empathetic. Someone can only be wrong and intolerable if I make them out to be those things. "Wrong" isn't a physical thing - go find me some "wrong" outside... it doesn't exist! Lead by example... lead by example.... what kind of example do I want to be? What kind of example do YOU want to be? Let's focus on that, instead of how we wish other people would be.

No comments:

Post a Comment