THE “I’M WITH YOU” ATTITUDE
You know that hurt people hurt people—and it is not personal.
Something my mentor helped me see is that no matter the environment, consider yourself ineligible for division. He encouraged me to initiate an attitude of “I’m with you.” Stay on the side of peace. If people act in any way unkind to you, act as though you never noticed. Practice continuously looking for ways to bring more calm and more kindness, without a word.
One day at work I noticed a younger member of the team and she looked upset. She broke down crying after I pulled her into a conference room to talk. The pressure of deadlines and working seven days a week was wearing on her, and she felt one of the staff was being very difficult and mean. Another time a member of the team was visibly frustrated, angry over their career not going how they planned. They felt they were trapped, and it was causing them to feel they were on the edge of breaking down.
Kindness gets ahead of the curve and helps bring reconciliation or peace to the one who is scared, hurting, angry, or hopeless. It helps them talk it out before they blow up in anger on the job and tarnish their whole career.
When you notice someone displaying signs of edginess, stop and do more than ask how they are doing. Ask them directly, “Is there anything I can do for you?” It will open them up to discuss what is bothering them. If you cannot do anything to help them, you can most certainly give them a hug, an encouraging word, or offer to buy them a coffee.
FEELING FRUSTRATED? KILL IT WITH KINDNESS.
There are plenty of times when I myself have been angry that life was not going the way I wanted. Many of the choices we make are our own self-effort to try and do something that makes sense or to control our lives. The path to fulfillment is littered with hardship: We may not get the promotion or raise we think we deserve. We have a medical emergency that ends up depleting our savings. Factor in family, disappointments, and believing that you should be further along than you are now, and it can be a formula for a mental health emergency. Many of us are on the brink of “losing it” when we hit a wall and do not know how to stop feeling hopeless, depressed, or trapped in a dead end.
The best thing to do when you are feeling frustrated is to look for a kind expression. This is more than a random act of kindness. We need to plan kindness in our day just like we make the decision to brush our teeth—as a means to avoid a potential pity party and to realign with purpose.