Beautiful things happen in your life when you distance yourself from the negative things.
I found this quote this morning on one of the FB pages I subscribe to. It really struck me, made me think about the truth in the words.
If you remember, a while back I was struggling with a relationship at work. The person was certainly "prickly." I actually had only a few run-ins with this person, but I witnessed many unpleasant events (s)he had with others, and the atmosphere was just terrible. The fallout was really unpleasant and spread throughout the staff, and it was really, really hard to go to work each day because I knew there would be tension and friction.
After several months of this, I was a mess. I wondered where it would go next. I still loved what I was doing, the work with our patients and their families, but the part of my job that related to coworkers was dreaded. The situation had everyone so upset that it was very, very hard to go into the office.
At a certain point I decided I just couldn't continue because things were getting worse in my own heart and head. I began to distance myself in any way I could from the situation. Some parts of the job can't be cut off. But where I could, I backed and backed and backed away. I also worked on canceling my negative thoughts (which were many) and replacing each with a positive thought, an affirmation or a little prayer, anything to pry the clammy little fingers of the negatives from their hold on me. And with time, it worked. I felt awfully isolated for a while, having only a couple people I could talk with about this, but gradually it came around to a better place.
Then, the person who was the root of all the problems for everyone was moved into my building! Up until then, I'd had the benefit of distance to buffer for me. I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to put up with it, being that much closer. Sigh. I continued with my resolve to remain free of the negative feelings.
It hasn't been necessarily fun, but this person has calmed down and is not particularly difficult. I've made an effort to be neutral and pleasant. In the beginning, there were a couple incidents in which (s)he was snide, passive-aggressive toward me. I ignored it, gave no response either positive or negative and just walked away. And it stopped.
I can at least work with this person now. Our interactions are generally helpful, productive, or nothing. My level of trust is low .... in fact, very low .... because I've seen the quick, rattlesnake strikes. But until I see more of it, I'll continue to be calm and noncombative. It's not possible to like everyone we work with, perhaps. But it's possible and preferable to put the junk aside when we can.
Everyone has struggles and needs compassion, especially the prickly ones. Offer kindness and care to everyone you meet; even the cold, the hostile, the lippy and the spiky. Place a saucer of kindness in front of them and watch their spikes lose their edge as they lap up your love. It’s not easy, but it is worth the effort. ~ Soulseeds
It may not work on everyone, every situation, but I think it works on most. It takes two, of course. If one person is just hell-bent to be contrary, that's another thing. But even then, it can soften the difficult parts of the relationship, the prickles. It takes persistence (this was 8 months in the making!), but it's worth it, especially in these circumstances where we can't avoid each other. I'll avoid the negative things every time I can.