It's morning, and Bucharest is very crowded, as usual at this time. I'm driving and hurrying for an important meeting at 09.00. There are probably others the same. The tails from the traffic lights are testimony to this. It turns red too fast, five or six traffic lights until you cross the intersection. Intersections get stuck because of cars that run yellow or even red lights. It's now a red light for me too and I stop immediately. I could force it, but I choose not to block. Any extra 10 seconds do not help me anyway. The one in the back keeps horning insistently, then seeing that I do not react gets out of the car (he has time until it turns green again, right?) and comes to me. He starts screaming at my driver's window with words hard to describe and imagine. I do not know what to do. I'm very angry at his aggression, the hysterical roar and the words he used. The blood is rushing to my head. I would roar myself, I too am in a hurry, but experience tells me that I would only escalate the conflict. If I ignore it, maybe it's worse. What to do? Why isn't the light turning green faster?
I arrive at the meeting. I know Maria well, she's my client for a long time. She has a lot of qualities, she's not a human resource manager for nothing. But she has a feature that, when it manifests, puts me into great difficulty: she gossips all the common acquaintances and complains about everyone, especially those I do not know. I'd say, "Stop it, woman, you're driving me crazy!" But I think, is it okay? Will I make her angry? What if I lose the contract? Experience tells me that if I let her blow off for 30-40 minutes, our business discussion will resolve quickly afterwards. But I'm leaving there with a very bad state. I take over all her negativity without wanting to and I feel terribly tired.
In the afternoon I get home. I am renovating the apartment and I have a team of painters working. They promised me yesterday they would finish the kitchen, but I find the work in almost the same stage, far from being ready. I ask them what happened and they promise again that they will finish tomorrow. I see black in front of my eyes! How many times have they promised something and it did not happen? No more, I will fire them! And yet ... I will lose the deposit and the job done so far is of very good quality. But how much more patience should I have? And I'm not upset that it's not ready yet, but that they promised me and did not deliver. How can I be firmer with them?
Do you recognize your life situations in one of the above patterns? Probably yes. Even if we do not necessarily speak of major and outrageous conflicts, such situations with difficult people create internal conflicts and consume a lot of personal energy. We get home at night exhausted and stressed largely due to these frenzied moments throughout the day.
What if we could treat such behaviors lightly and maybe even with some humor, while at the same time achieving the purpose of the relationship? Perhaps our lives would be easier. Ghandi urged us to be the change we want to see in the world, precisely because reality shows us that we can not change people around us (not even life partners). What to do next? Are we going to let ourselves be terrified by all sorts of people or are we choosing to change something in ourselves?