Why Do We Make It About Us?

looking in mirrorThe salesperson taking my money for the boots I was buying could not have been more rude. She never once looked at me and rolled her eyes as I dropped one of the boots out of the box while putting them on the counter. She ripped the top off of the box as she checked to see that they were a matched pair. And as she shoved them back into the box, she let out an audible and frustrated, “come on, damnit,” as she let the boots know that she was in no mood to offer any kind of extra care.

I was a little more than surprised by her. Truth be told, I got downright pissy myself. I got in a twist and when she told me the amount I owed, I abruptly shoved my card towards her. Not another word was uttered as we finished the transaction. It was awkward and as I left the store, the chatter going on in my head was pretty crummy. “What the heck is wrong with her?” “She just doesn’t get that you don’t get to treat customers that way!” “I should have told her that I didn’t appreciate her treating me like that.” “She is one rude person.” And those are just some of the immediate thoughts that I allowed myself to entertain.

And, no surprise here, all of those thoughts made me feel even more pissy! I didn’t see myself in a mirror as I walked through the mall on the way to my car, but with thoughts like that; I’m betting I looked a little less than joyful. In fact, I’ll bet I looked every bit as pissy as the woman I was so upset about.

Now that’s interesting, isn’t it?

I took how the salesperson treated me personally. I made it about me.

But here’s the thing – it wasn’t about me. How someone treats me is never about me. It’s about them.

And the same is true for you.

Are you willing to accept that?

I remember the time right after my mother died and I am absolutely certain that if anyone was making how I was interacting with them about them, there was a lot of damage. And I didn’t have a clue. I didn’t have a clue because it wasn’t about them. It never was. It was about me.

I have no idea what was going on in the life of the salesperson who sent me on my spiral, but I know that the healthier thing to do would have been to allow her experience to be just that…her experience. I also know that heaping judgment on her was not helpful to her or me. Compassion would have been a much better choice, and that choice is always available.

So here’s our challenge: Let how other people treat you be about them. You honor both yourself and the other person when you make that choice.

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