«There is no destiny, only the one we forge.»
Sarah Connor’s statement has fascinated me since 1991 when she engraved it with a knife like a bored teenager in class.
However, certain terms and conditions apply:
Sometimes, take bold actions does not mean exactly what we imagine.
Reviewing the assignments of our courses, I noticed the anecdote of one of our participants in an airport.
In this particular case, an immigration official was reluctant to accept his transit through the country, despite having his documents in order.
If it was Sarah Connor, things would have escalated… rather quickly.
But he decided (wisely) to remain calm and wait for another official to come to review his case.
When the other arrived, he verified that everything was in order and let them pass.
So, in this case, he got ahead … doing nothing.
Just keeping calm and waiting.
(And realizing that the first official had an uncooperative attitude).
Sometimes it’s extremely difficult to ‘not to react’.
Remember that the indifferent or even hostile attitudes of others, are not necessarily personal.
(In fact, it is rarely personal).
What’s more: Imagine someone telling you, to the face:
«I can’t stand you».
That might be enough for some people to initiate an emotional and verbal counterattack.
But the question you must ask yourself (internally) is:
«Why does this person feel this way?»
Remember that they are seeing the situation through their own filters.
Their words may be just a way of venting their frustration … although deep down they know that you have nothing to do with it.
If you react without finding out, without listening, without inquiring … you will only make things worse.
Hence one of the most powerful tools is: nod and recognize the emotion of the other.
(You don’t have to ‘accept’ it, if it’s not true, of course).
You just have to recognize the emotion and use the same words.
«I understand that you can’t stand me. I would like to know [why] do you feel like this and see what we can do about it.
You are *not* accepting the label, but you are not counterattacking either.
Do you think you can try it next time, with your own words?
You will see that this saves you a lot of conflicts and misunderstandings.
I hope you have a great weekend!
Jesus Enrique Rosas
– I can read your body language and write a story about it.