Finding the Grinch’s Heart While Out and About

How is your shopping going this season? Because of the hustle and bustle the holidays bring, stress can elevate negative energy in which normally should be a happy occasion. I have seen people lose their patience while waiting in long lines. I have viewed sales people become aggravated and the customers become rude. I have witnessed women slapping each other over a parking spot. I have heard the long blowing of horns while circling the crowded parking lots dozens of times. Screaming, yelling, pushing, shoving, name calling, and tears are certainly not aligned with the spirit of the giving season.

How can we serve ourselves and in turn serve others in order to maintain peace this holiday? 

Perspective. Many times perspective is the key to resolve or understand many issues in life. The ability to change your perspective elicits compassion and understanding which can benefit almost any situation.

When you are face to face with a person who is being impolite, it is instinctual to want to immediately defend yourself. The problem with that is that it only adds to and elevates the negative energy. You want to dissolve the situation by responding to it rather than reacting to it. A response consists of thoughtful reflection, compassion, and understanding. 

First, believe that you always deserve to be treated with respect and no one has the right to lash out at you. When you believe this, you understand that reacting to them in the same manner they are treating you goes against your beliefs. When you treat others how you want to be treated, you help teach them how to act towards you.

Secondly, consider where they are coming from. In truth, their anger is not about you. An angry person is a person who has lost control. This person is upset and has let outside circumstances and low-level energy thoughts and emotions affect his or her inner well-being. A statement such as, “I understand why you’re upset” helps validate their emotions, not to endorse they are right, but to confirm they have been heard and recognized. No one likes to be dismissed or feel invisible.

Third, leave them a positive outlook. When someone is upset, it is hard for them to come out of their perspective and see any kind of light. Offering them a compliment, a joke, a simple touch on the shoulder, or smile may help lift them up. I used to call this call center to get fingerprint clearances and did not like to do it because every time someone answered the phone they were in a bad mood. One day I called and as usual someone answered with a curt response. As this lady was giving me the information her computer froze. She let out a frustrated sigh as she complained about her computer. I took that moment as an opportunity to understand and identify with her. I told her that I almost took a baseball bat to my computer the other day because I was so frustrated with it. She let out the most glorious sounding laugh and by the time the phone call was over it was like I was talking to a completely different person.

Is it easy to remain calm, kind, and considerate when someone is being vulgar toward you? No. Not at first because it is not part of your habitual way of responding; yet. In all likelihood, when someone is yelling at a person, he or she immediately feels the need to kick them in their shin or throw an uppercut to their jaw. That is not the correct reaction but it is a common feeling. I would be lying if I said I have never felt that way. I have. However, I have learned the best strategy to combat many forms of negativity is kindness. It is difficult to argue with someone who has the courage, strength, and determination to remain calm and kind. This person of peace knows it is futile to add to the flame when they are trying to distinguish the fire. Become that which you are trying to instill in others. 

How do you become a person of peace? 

Practice, practice, practice.

Do you have a story or helpful hint? Please share it with us.

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1 Response to "Finding the Grinch’s Heart While Out and About"

Amelia Caan said...

It's too easy to lose sight of what's important during the holidays. Let's all treat others with kindness at all times.

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