Friday, August 9, 2013

Dealing with A-holes

Your day is going great. You are relaxed and rested from a good night sleep. Your wife and kids were actually in a good mood and said that they will miss you while you are at work. You avoided the traffic and they played a set of your favorite U2 songs on the radio. In fact, someone brought in Krispy Kreme doughnuts into work. You have no meetings and you are caught up with work. Life is good. Then you get that e-mail. That e-mail that sets you off. Your whole day is now shot. It is known as the a-mail, an e-mail from an asshole at work. I apologize for the language; however, we have all been there. They make some derogatory comment about your work and the cc the entire world so everyone can see that comment. It might be that such an a-mail was unintentional, yet the stench of it lingers. So what do you do?

You start to doubt your abilities. You realize that you were on a diet and eating that Krispy Kreme doughnut just destroyed your PX93 workout. At this point, the rose colored glasses you are wearing have become a shade of grey.

This has happened to me several times and I can't say I have successfully dealt with this situations; however, perhaps my failure is your benefit. I did let these type of e-mails ruin my entire day. I should have brushed it off; however, that is easier said than done. Perhaps, I should have responded with an e-mail back establishing my asshole stature. No. What I should have done is take some deep breaths and calm myself. Then I should have focused on the positive aspects of myself. I should have viewed this person with empathy because in order for them to feel good about themselves, they have to ridicule another. I should have considered their perspective that would cause them to write such an e-mail. I should have seen if there was any constructive criticism that I could benefitted. I should have done that, but did not. Perhaps, next time I will handle it better.

What was I thinking?

There are many stages in life where one falls flat on his face. For me, it was falling flat my face then off a cliff into a pool of lava with a boulder landing on top of me. After I let the bumps, bruises and burns somewhat heal, I got right back on track. Well, at least I thought I did. Unfortunately, I really did not take stock with respect to what was hapenning. I was so determined to correct this failure, I never really looked at the emotional impact of this failure. I was told to have a stiff upper lip and commence on with the matter at hand. In retrospect, that was a bad idea.

So now with my second attempt, I believe I failed again. Now what have I learned from this second failure. First, the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Actually, I am probably not there yet. If I do this a third time without changing my method, then I would fall under the defintion. In reality, what I learned was I was trying to achieve something that was purely based on building my self-esteem. I believed wrongly that the success of this would validate me as a person and an expert in my profession. But, that was wrong. Because self-esteem works well things are going great; however, it is no where to be found when things go wrong. It is that casual friend that this there for the party, but is gone when it is time to clean up.

Now, I have learned what I really need is self-compassion. I now ackowledge that we all make mistakes, which is ok. It is part of the human DNA. Failure is a good thing. I might not feel that way at the time, but with time, it is. So I am working on self-compassion, being more compasionate to myself. I have realized all this time that I have been my worse enemy. Sure there are other people around who accentuate my failures for their own pleasures, but I cannot control them. I can, however, control myself. I am working on being more self-compassionate. By doing this, I am not only helping myself, but the people around me. Because once you can be compassionate to yourself, it is easier to be compensionate to others.

This will be a daily struggle and I will have set backs, but I believe I can get through this one day at a time. In the end, I will be in a better place to handle any failure or success.