Many times in my life I have found myself wondering “why did (or why is) this person doing things to me?” Now please understand something I am by no means playing a violin for myself right now. But I want to talk about why we feel what we do when others have wronged us.
People generally do not do things based on how others are feeling. They do things based on how they themselves are feeling.
When someone cuts you off in traffic they may have been messing with their phone. They may have been messing with the radio or looking in the wrong direction. Very rarely will anyone who caused an accident say it was intentional but from the receiving end, it sure feels that way doesn’t it?
I mean, it’s easy at that moment to rationalize someone woke up that morning, got dressed, saw their kids off to school and then drove to a specific location, looking to cause a traffic accident isn’t it?
In my own life I too have been trying to come to grips with the actions of another and how it has affected myself and my family. I have been trying to understand why certain types of people knowingly act in an unacceptable manner according to how “I” am feeling. What has confounded me recently was the realization of the truth: “People simply have different values.” And that is just the way it is.
One family may not like profanity in movies. Another family might not be okay with firearms. One family might cheer for a particular team every year yet another thinks they’re not playing fair. And that is okay because those are choices and norms which drive individual values.
Let’s say a visitor (anyone who does not reside at your home is a visitor) arrives in your home and performs an action you do not agree with because it violates your family’s norms. First, it is your responsibility to notify your visitor “hey, that’s not cool.” If that visitor continues the action after they have been told to stop, perhaps it’s not because they realize they are offending you, it is because they simply don’t know any better. Or even worse, it could be they don’t care. It is quite possible your visitor never really learned how to be respectful toward the boundaries of others or even what true respect is.
Life has journeys, yes. But along those journeys come a process. Sometimes that process is easy and its rare you accidentally bump into someone else’s caboose. Other times you might suddenly smack right into each other without notice and immediately wanna put blame on another.
In my opinion it’s best to realize some people treat others a certain way because that is simply who they choose to be. You cannot physically change the actions of others without the use of force against them. Often, no amount of discussion is going to change the way individuals like that affect others around them because that would require them to not only admit they were wrong and require them to behave differently but it honestly invalidates their value system. No one ever does anything wrong, right? Unfortunately it is at that time it’s necessary to ask yourself if that individual being in your life truly makes you happy or not? Is that individual worth the load they are weighing you down with?
Sometimes it’s best to pull into the train station, unhook the empty or too burdensome cars and then get right back out there hauling that heavy load of yours up that great big hill you see in front of you.
In the military we called that towing your load or “pulling your own shit.” You’re responsible for your own burdens. Your own shit. You are not responsible for someone else’s burdens. Someone else’s shit. We train you to do YOUR job so someone else can do theirs.
Stop letting others burden you and weigh you down.
You’re Welcome. Internet.