Recently I was part of a debate, in which the discussion got really heated up. It got to a point where some individual that was involved in the debate took what I was saying very personally. The topic is a very touchy subject for some individuals in the group due to their culture and background. I respect where they are coming from and can understand them, however I am a very “by the book” kind of person, and I believe in keeping things simple.
The main stance I was holding in my part of the debate was that a person must always stay honest and true. For the moment one starts with lies, he will never end, and these lies will eventually get caught. I then brought an example how the other team’s stance can be taken out of proportion and may cause more damage and harm rather that what they are so desperately trying to protect. Maybe the example I brought may have been a little too harsh and direct for some individuals, maybe it had offended him personally. Yet a debate is a debate, my aim and goal was not to be correct or right, it was to get a certain message across. I did not make it personal and nor was I expecting anyone else to take things personally. However that one specific individual decided to take it personally and very personally indeed. He went to contact the whole group to complain to them about how he felt and went on complaining about how wrong I have been in bringing up my example. (This statement has not been confirmed and I am only assuming this simply based of the outcome – I suddenly started getting text messages from a whole bunch of people saying that I was wrong and that I shouldn’t have done what I have done and that the other individual was hurt – I even got a text message around four in the morning!) I found this very odd and strange. If that individual had an issue with me personally, he should have picked up the phone and called me directly. I would explain to him and clarify to him on a more personal level. Instead the individual never called me, nor contacted me – he simply posted in the forum how wrong I was.
Here is the punch line.
The example I brought had nothing what so ever to do with that specific individual – he was not the one I was referring to at all! True a while back there was a similar issue with that individual and it was taken care of, however I was talking about a second person who repeated the same incident and I was trying to bring home a point of how harmful it was. Yet the first individual was utterly convinced that I was referring to him directly and that I was bashing him. This to me is very funny, yet sad at the same time. Had that individual come to me directly, I would have explained that to him, yet he chose to victimize himself and build this whole tower of misery around him. This is the point where I back off. I rather be happy than right. I did not try to “win” the debate, I was simply trying to drive a point, now that it is being blown out of proportion – this is the part where I back off.
The lesson to me:
I build my own towers, I cause my own pain. If I choose to take everything everyone tells me personally and to heart, I may take things out of proportion, I may misunderstand them completely. This lesson taught me something valuable, a whole bunch of people that share similar character defects joined “forces” together to get a high and a kick of something that totally did not exist. Did I want a part of it? How does that play into my daily life? Wow, if this is what a simple example can do – what can a direct comment do? Therefore on my part, I should be more careful how I say things and try to be more specific. If someone tells me something that seems to be a little offensive, I should calculate carefully what role I have in this, if I cannot find any, I disown it. If there is still an issue, there are other people in my support network that can help me think things through. If someone has hurt me directly, I will pick up the phone and call him directly!
This was a powerful experience to me. It has also taught me a lot about myself. I am sure that I didn’t do anything directly wrong to anyone, because I know my true intentions. Other people’s character defects should not affect my feelings; thankfully I was able to make that distinction – I managed to be able to let it go. Normally I would go into deep analysis of what did I do wrong and not be able to fall asleep at night, but I managed to sleep very well that night, in fact, it was so good that I even managed to sleep in and get to work late. This is amazing, the kind of recovery I can find by some simple aspirations and belief in myself. I am developing a personal relationship with myself, and whoever wants to join me in my journey, is more than welcome; others I prefer if they keep their misery to themselves and to those that welcome it. I don’t!
How about you? How do you deal with situations where you feel a victim? How do you deal with situations where you feel it is personal?
I would love to hear about it.