Jan 15, 2009

a good reason to NOT get cranky

I find myself reacting in irritation when someone invades my personal space.

I'm actually not talking about "close talkers" or people who insist on touching me when they talk to me. I am actually okay with those people (as long as they don't struggle with a bad case of halitosis).

For me, personal space has to do with others forcing their expectation on me, when I did not approve it. For example, if you do not communicate clearly what you expect of me, please do not get your panties in a bunch when I fail to meet those expectations.

But as I write this I am reflecting on the depressing reality that I too invade other's personal space. I assume others know what I know and believe as I believe and read what I read, therefore they must think how I think. I do believe the truth is that very few people think the same way, because what makes us unique comes from not just our upbringing and the baggage that goes along with that, but also what we "consume" everyday - what we read, write, think, hear, conversations we have and more.

Why am I writing this you may ask. It struck my fancy. No, I am not in a fight with anyone, I had an experience where the communication was clear -ly confusing. All the information was there, but not in all the same place. I didn't read every piece of information, so now I feel like I let someone down. If I had been dealt an extra measure of grace, I may not feel so stupid right now, but unfortunately I was not, and if I were in the other person's place I would have reacted in the same way.

All of this to say - I must take a breath before reacting to someone else's failures. We all make mistakes, we all live on the verge of failure, I do not take into consideration other people all of the time. Do you?

When I think that this situation, while somewhat embarrassing and frustrating, is just another example of how I treat others. Oh, you don't feel like you had the information? Well it was right there. What do you mean you stopped reading on the 2nd paragraph? Of course you did. So sorry. Now we will have to make adjustments for your failure to read all of the information.

My style of written communication is intentionally simple. Why? Because I can't follow more complex directions. Tell me the place, time, date, what I need to bring and make it extremely direct. Please don't write a paragraph with the information, because apparently my brain doesn't work that way.

Maybe I should remember the next time someone seems confused to try to remember that everyone gets things in different ways. Yikes. So sorry. Let me pour some grace on you. Let me pat your hand and say, it's completely fine, we will make it work another way, it really isn't all that important.

:) That's all I have to say.

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