How Do You Respond

By , © 2011

All of us meet hundreds of people during a lifetime and some of these people are memorable, some we really like, and some who seem to be forever in their own space most often ignoring or unaware of their own attitudes either consciously or unconsciously.

And, for a lot of us, the actions, or reactions of these types of people can certainly annoy us or aggravate us and lead us to take their behaviors personally.

For example, how many times have you been driving to work when another motorist has cut you off, made a dangerous lane change without signalling, or nearly rear-ended you because they were tail gating you? I'm sure this has happened to you. How did you react?

Did you react emotionally by blowing your horn incessantly, speed up to catch them and give them a rude gesture, or did you just sit there boiling over? In other words, did you take this action by the other driver personally? Well, at one time or another, we have all probably felt this way and allowed this inconsiderate motorist to ruin the rest of your day. So, what have you done? You took their actions personally.

What about the technological marvel of the modern day computer that quits responding, or develops a glitch so that you cannot get to that critical assignment? Do you think that this inanimate object was designed to foul up your day just when you really needed to get that task done for the boss? No. It's just a piece of machinery - it has no mind, it has no soul, it has no personality. So, if you take its' failing as personal, you have made it human. Do not take it personally. Realize that you are assigning power to this computer it does not have - you again have given it power that it does not possess. You have given it power to control your emotions.

And, what about that colleague who is never wrong, and where you are never right? Is this kind of person telling you more about yourself, or are they really making an unconscious statement about who they are, and their own need for ego enhancement? Do not take his or her actions personally or you are allowing someone else to tell you who you are and what you are worth.

The message should be clear to all of us. We are human beings full of emotions and behaviors but we all have a choice to make our lives what we want; our perceptions and reactions can be controlled if we understand that there are hundreds of inputs everyday that call us to respond. How we respond is not dictated to us as if we are programmed to respond a certain way; we are not robots. Choose your reactions based on who you are not on some extraneous event or someone else's needs.


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