How often do you find yourself running around trying to make sure you responded to that Facebook message, wrote a thank you note to your awesome neighbor, grabbed enough groceries for the week and responded to your mom’s text not to forget to bring her favorite dish back home this weekend? How often are you apologizing for not responding to an email until a week later and texting your friend out of state wishing them a happy belated birthday?
So it’s probably true that most of us have too much going on, but we all live in this world of constant to-dos. We’re in complex relationships with challenging jobs and tasks outside of the office that make our minds go a million miles an hour (or maybe it’s just my brain)… which brings me to my point that we are all doing the best we can.
People can be so mean. And judgmental. And hateful. I see it more and more in the workplace, whether it’s my own experiences or simple observations at meetings or from friends at other jobs. I’ve received passive aggressive emails, been told I am exclusive and had people completely stop talking to me without an explanation. Since I’m a human, I’m pretty sensitive to it & take things quite personally (even though I would always advise others not to, but we all know how it goes with taking our own advice).
You don’t get to choose how people respond to you, but you absolutely get to choose how you respond to them. If someone snaps at you, offer some grace. If someone takes too much credit for the work you did, let it go. If a comment was made that offended you, ask what it meant or where it came from.
Or better yet, be the person who takes the time to listen to someone’s story. I can get frustrated by lack of response, but when I hear that someone’s going through some personal challenges (which are very real) it offers some buffer space. That divorce she just finalized. The illness his mom is going through. Given our own personal and work realities, we are all doing our best. Right? Can you say that for yourself?
As the season officially changes, may I offer up an intention for you & myself to be a little kinder. I don’t know why she posts on Facebook and never responds to my emails. I don’t know why he is so moody at work. I may never understand why she won’t give me credit when I do most of the hard work. Everyone’s on their own journey. And sometimes that journey completely sucks. Let’s be a little kinder, friends because we’re all doing the best we can.