November 2, 2012

Craft Your Better Self: When you know better, you do better

There's a quote I've been thinking about today. It's from Maya Angelou:

"When you know better, you do better". 

Quotes are like tools in a box. They sit around, being useless, until you need to hang a picture. Then the hammer is your best friend and so helpful. Tools assist with problems. Same goes for quotes.

Recently I had a little situation where I had to talk to someone about something they did that upset me. At a recent party, we would normally be friendly and chatty, this person ignored me and excluded me from certain activities. Obviously there was a problem.

I recounted every detail of our interactions trying to find evidence of where "it all went wrong".  Unable to identify a reason, the only solution was to discuss it directly.

This is very, very difficult for me to do. Address a situation- head on. Sweeping things under the rug is a much more comfortable place.

To reduce some anxiety about this, I role-played ways of presenting the topic and possible responses to their answers. This was actually very effective  in reducing my stress and anxiety. (It also can make a mountain out of a mole-hill but that's another story.)

When the time came I approached the person as I rehearsed in my head. My instincts were right. This person was upset with me and explained why.

Here's a Craft Your Better Self moment. After hearing why this person was upset with me, I responded by being very clear what my needs were and how I felt. Rather than addressing the details of the issue itself which could have perseverated  the problems. It's ok this person was upset with me, that happens in all walks of life. But not ok how they treated me.

We came to a mutual agreement about what happened and both recognized areas for improvements. I wouldn't have known what my part in all this was unless I was told. Now I know. I can do better. Now this person knows how to better deal with me, they know better.

All warm and fuzzy. Great way to start the weekend.