I usually am not one to dole out unsolicited advice because I don't usually like being on the receiving end of it. However, I thought it would be a good title for the occasional article where I expand on wisdom that has been passed onto me through various channels.
Wisdom that I have found applies both...
at HOME: with kids, school, friends, volunteering, at the grocery store, driving in traffic..
and at the OFFICE: with vendors, partners, clients, co-workers...
"It's About the Speaker"
When I first heard this saying I didn't quite get it. What exactly is the speaker saying that's about themselves when what they are saying is CLEARLY about me? And then it was explained to me. When someone says things that are hurtful, insulting, or filled with anger, they are really talking about themselves because THEY have been hurt, feel insecure, or something has happened to THEM to make them angry.
When I started applying this knowlege in all facets of my life, I really started to 'get' it.
My husband is notorious for misplacing his wallet and keys around the house, and then blaming me for 'moving' them. He will not deny that during some of these episodes he stomps around, his anger getting the best of him. It's about the speaker. His anger is his. He's annoyed with himself, not ME, with misplacing them. Knowing this allows me to change my reaction so that I can calmly ignore him rather than create a huge argument over...keys.
At Work or the Office
Have you ever had a meeting or a call with someone that is just not happy? Maybe it's a client, or a vendor that you have a contract with. What we don't know, is what is going on in that person's life. Maybe they just sat through a 3 hour meeting, or got stuck in terrible traffic. Whatever it is we can only imagine, but obviously it's affecting their day, and this particular interraction with you. But most likely it's not you. It's them.
As a Parent
One of the challenges we face as parents of girls is to ensure they maintain a positive view of themselves. Poor self-esteem can be damaging for young girls and can stay with them...forever. "It's About the Speaker", I tell them. If someone cuts you down, says you aren't pretty, says you are dumb...they are really talking about themselves. They feel ugly, dumb, and probably someone in their life is cutting them down, and they say these things to other people to make them feel better about themselves.
I also need to realize that when I'm tired, I get angry easily. If I lash out at the kids, I am much quicker to realize that it's not about them - it's about me as the speaker - my lack of sleep, my lack of patience. With this knowledge, I am quicker to take ownership of it, and then I apologize.