Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Walk Away
We would guess that most of us have had the experience of being taken aback by someone who had an issue with us that we were totally unaware of. Or maybe we were aware that there was a growing feeling of discontent in the relationship but it felt very one-sided and we weren’t quite sure what to do about it. When someone chooses to vent all over us at a time when they feel they need to, it can catch us off guard and leave us feeling like, “What’s their problem?” or “What did I do?”. We like to call this “being thrown up on”. Maybe the person really has a legitimate concern but doesn’t know how to bring it up in a way that’s helpful to the situation. In their eyes, maybe they feel like they are justified in throwing up on us all their perceived hurts and wrongs they have endured with no thought of the receiver’s feelings. Have you ever experienced a situation like this?
Here are some things we have learned about these situations and helpful ideas to try to implement for the sake of peace:
*If you know there is a negative situation in a relationship – work, family, friend – try to plan out your response before the person confronts you. If you are caught off guard by the person, you will know right away what coping strategies you will use. Sometimes, however, it is hard to think of something to say when the situation is heated and in that case, being honest and true to your own feelings at the time can be the best response. It is ok to say nothing except how the person is making you feel in the moment. Even saying, for example, “I can see you are very upset right now. Let’s talk another time” is truthful to you and may help diffuse the situation.
*You are not obligated to answer the phone every time it rings, respond immediately to every text or say yes to every invitation you receive. If you are not mentally ready to deal with a certain conversation, wait until you are.
*If you feel like you are being verbally attacked, getting defensive or justifying any thought or action you’ve had is usually not helpful. Sometimes just being quiet is better. There is a time to say your point of view, but not now. Let’s face it, the other person probably isn’t even listening.
*Walking away and thinking through how you want to deal with the relationship can help to clear your head and remind you of what’s most important to you.
Sometimes we try to remember that although we strive to be good people, we can’t make everyone happy or make everyone like us. And that’s ok. That’s not what it’s about. In fact, it may have nothing to do with us at all.