Silence. Something that we can find hard to maintain when we feel that we are entitled to speak up. Why do we feel that way? Why do we think that we have the right to tell others how to run their life? Why is it so difficult to say nothing?
I've wondered that for a long time now. When people see something going on that they don't agree with or like, they feel they need to say something to that person. And often it has nothing to do with them, they just feel that they need to right some wrong. But whose wrong is it? Is it wrong to the other person, or is it only wrong to us?
There are times when we need to speak up in order to stand up for ourselves or to protect others. But notice how often we are silent when it comes to standing up for ourselves when someone is being abusive to us, yet we are happy to point out to someone else what we perceive as their wrong doings.
I have seen clients that are more than willing to give a piece of their mind to someone that they feel needs to hear it, yet they do not stop to take the time to see their own part in the drama. They disassociate from it and it becomes someone else's problem rather than holding themselves accountable. It is not uncommon to see it.
We can choose how we react to every situation. What if we were to hold our comments when they are not needed? When we are angry with someone, it might be better to practice being silent rather than saying things that cannot be taken back. Anger is a great tool to be able to understand what OUR hot buttons are. Why not hold our tongue and ask ourselves why we are so upset by the incident. What has it triggered in us? What can we learn from this experience. Will our angry words make any difference to the other person? Most likely not as that it will make them defensive and they will seek to hurt back when you hurt them. And later we will feel guilty for saying it and then either have to apologize or make some excuse about it not being our fault in order to feel better about it.
I invite you to catch yourself in the next few days. See where you offer your opinion on what a person "should" or "shouldn't" do and see if the advice was sought or you just felt to offer it. Try not saying anything and just listening instead and see how the conversation feels after that. If you are angry, try telling the other person that right now you are angry and you need time to explore why you are so upset and that you will get back to them. Then spend the time to figure out what has made YOU so upset. It's a great way to learn more about who you are.....................