It is a political season, and the gloves are off for banter, slander, and posturing. I’ve seen and heard advertisements of people speaking to the values and moral aptitude of voters. I am equally amused and drained. What this season of political awareness has caused me to do is pay more attention to my circle. Not, my immediate circle but rather the circle of associates that may sometimes influence my decisions. It’s caused me to pause, assess, and redirect.
I had to pause because sometimes I become so engaged in what is being said and by whom that I don’t hear the message or its intended purpose. I also had to pause to watch how the actions of others impacted what I thought about myself.
Very recently, someone in my circle of associates said to me that my tone was sharp in an email. She’d eluded to this in times the previous discussion, but I gave it no attention because it was an opinion and her right to have that opinion. This time, when she said it, I thought about it. I re-read the email I sent. I sent it to others to get feedback. Then finally, I sent her a message asking her to show me where in my written text that my tone was too sharp. Instead of providing the solicited feedback, she gave me the excuse that she was otherwise occupied. What perplexed me about the situation was that she’d taken time to note my tone and offer criticism, but she did not have any proposals for corrections.
I had to assess my relationship and interactions with my associate. But more significant than that, I had to deep dive into her statement and her inability to provide more insight to help me grow.
- Was the statement harmful or helpful?
- How could this statement be beneficial to my professional or personal life?
- Did I value this person’s opinion enough to engage any further?
After I carefully analyzed these questions, answering each of them with specific details, I determined that if her message were intended to be helpful, it would have come with something that I could have used to change. Instead, it seemed that it was purposed to disturb my peace.
After reviewing all my correspondences to and from my associate, I decided that I would do my best to keep things very formal with her. Being formal with her, in my opinion, would limit her desire to share her personal views with me. Sometimes we have to redirect people who might be on the verge of becoming apart of the inner-circle to a seat more appropriately situated right outside of the circle to guard our peace. Your inner-circle should be reserved for people with whom you can share your authentic self, without fear or reservation. They are the people cheering you on when you’re not in the room to hear. They don’t question your tone or intent because they’ve invested time in getting to know you.
Be cautious of people disturbing your peace. Think about their actions and try to understand their intent, when expressed. Accept the things about yourself that are true and discard the things about you that are not. You determine if what others say is worth the effort of your energy.
Now, get you some peace.