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Don’t let other people steal your peace

Two protesters hold up signs: Peace. . . and Quiet

I am convinced that often the reason that other people bother us is that they are jealous we are at peace and happy.

For example, I had a hiring manager be late twice to two interviews that I did for him. I didn’t get upset, I patiently waited. My default is to wait for 15 minutes and if they don’t show up in that timeframe and no communication, then I close the meeting and have no interest in working with them. You have to have standards in your life, and people who don’t respect your time don’t send a respectful message.

Two protesters hold up signs: Peace. . . and Quiet
Two protesters hold up signs: Peace. . . and Quiet

Another example. I once did a drug test to get hired and the person doing the test was unpleasant. While she was doing her job I made small talk and asked how she liked her job. She responded brutally “I like it fine. Why do you ask?” I responded I was just making small talk. For me, it often helps to fill awkward silences during interaction with others. Not everyone likes small talk. Thats ok.

The reason I believe above is that sometimes as I have gotten to know coworkers they ask why I am usually happy. Not always happy – I am not a machine. I told them that I have lots of reasons to be happy and would they like to hear the list. I think by default most people at work are unhappy or hide their unhappiness. I understand why that is. Work is stressful and people don’t always put their best interpersonal self forward when they are under stress.

What I have learned in helping people is not to take anything personally. It may feel personal when they attack you, but the way that someone treats you says everything about them and nothing about you. I learned this as well. We all have the responsibility to control our emotions and take responsibility for what we think and feel. I have seen that in business people like to blame others and not take responsibility for their toxic behavior. If they do this that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean that I want to stick around in that environment.

See also  Cynicism isn't helpful

As much as possible I try to forgive and give people the benefit of the doubt. This doesn’t mean I am stupid, but rather that we are human and that listening and forgiveness, help more than blaming others and judgment. It is not easy to be emotionally intelligent, but ultimately you know that you did your best. If your best isn’t good enough to make you happy each day, then it’s time to move to greener pastures.

People try to steal your peace but you have to allow them to take it.