Wild Hens Pecking At Your Heels!
You are invited to take an imagery trip with me for a quick minute. Imagine a hen, or perhaps its cousins, chickens and ducks. At sight, they can seem like pretty harmless animals, but listen, should one ever decide to pester you, they can be so bothersome as they chase you around nipping and pecking at your heels. Of course, most often, the damage is not life-threatening. Yet, it is consistent, and irritating, and a complete inconvenience. An old proverb states, "It's like wild hens pecking at your heels." when describing those unnecessary, small headache type of things that can just interrupt a whole day.
Lately, I have had so much of that type of thing, I've felt like I could use a good ole' band-aide all around my life. Nothing major, just small distracting, disruptors that, if not checked, can waste time, energy, and emotions. If you are like me, 2020 is just not the year for that type of waste. Here are just two tangible tips from my life to yours that perhaps will empower you to curtail the pecking too!
RECOGNIZE MEANNESS. Yep! That simple. Meanness is a mistreatment that is intentional with a desire to do harm. Make no mistake about it. The mistreatment was not a mistake, an oversight, or an "I'm just joking" that you should let slide. Why is this so important to recognize? Because we can spend so much of our time and energy daily trying to sift through issues, giving extra patience and kindness, second guessing our guts or intuitions, going the extra mile to try and communicate more effectively, hoping that there will not be misunderstanding, etc., meanwhile, the other party can be fully committed to being difficult; resolution is not the end game in the least. In fact, they enjoy verbal scuffles, which peck at your heels. They delight in misunderstandings, which peck at your soul. It thrills them to throw off your entire day with nonsense. When we call a thing, a thing- we are empowered to adjust our on behavior accordingly. If the dynamic is mean or its cousin messy or best friend manipulative, we recognize it as such because at the end of the day, it's intentional. We choose NOT to allow mean behavior to peck away at our wellbeing by ignoring or reframing the behavior. It literally is...what it is! We adjust ourselves accordingly.
RECALIBRATE YOUR APPROACH. My sister and I still laugh today about a moment during our stay in Rome. Although our payment in full was not due until the end of the trip, the front desk attendant would "remind" us that it was due daily. "Remember that you have to pay before you leave", she would offer as we passed through the area. Of course, her consistent reminders felt unnecessary and a bit something or another. Perhaps she had experiences with previous guests that warranted such behavior, but we were clear that we had not earned such. "Hey, I am going to make sure that we get that payment to you before we leave," I extended as we entered the stay one evening, waving as we continued on our way. Her face faded through several expressions as she seemingly processed that my statement had somehow switched the very dynamics of her approach. Somehow, her words had not been able to pressure me into moving beyond what was already established, expected, and fair to me. Furthermore, my statement to her indicated that the terms of stay were understood and I would not be handled into operating otherwise.
Perhaps, there is an area of your life where you need to do the same. A situation may necessitate that you switch your regular mode of operation so that clear boundaries are established. A person may be accustomed to calling you 4-5 times to ask to borrow money. When you see their name on the phone, you may routinely ignore the call already knowing that it is going to ring again and again and again. The person is comfortable "pecking" you until you answer and concede to the request just for peace's sake. What if, instead of ignoring their voice mail, you actually pick up the phone and call them. Instead of being in defense mode, you may initiate a call and respond to the request, issue, circumstance on terms that work best for your budget, life, and/or peace of mind. You may offer a "no". You may implement a "I need more time to consider and will call you when I am ready to speak further." Whatever an action looks like for you, it represents authority that messages a unwillingness to be "pecked" into doing, saying, being, giving at your expense for someone else's preferences. When we reward people for pecking us, the pecking continues!
So, that's it for now. While this blog may not solve world peace today, recognizing situations for what they are and addressing them accordingly can certainly bring more peace to our own worlds. I keep bidding safety and saneness during this time.
As always, I honor the greatness in you.