Monday Mojo – Reject the Mess

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Do you ever find yourself embroiled in someone else’s – or even your own – drama but feel like it’s too late to back out?  Or have you ever been hurt by what someone said or did, and were tempted to hurt them back?  Maybe you felt rejected by a friend, colleague or even an entire workplace simply for saying what you think, or asking for your needs to be met.  I think we’ve all been there.

We live in a world where people behaving “badly” is escalating but showing up in subtle and even insidious ways.  We also live in a society that’s not prepared for that – we are just not taught how to reasonably cope with rejection or rudeness, in what ever form that takes.  As an example, society often responds with “bright side” commentary like “there’s plenty more fish in the sea” or “at least you’ve got these nice things” with some even blaming us with “what did you expect!”.  It’s minimising and adds more hurt to the harm.  

When things are difficult it’s important we lean in to what’s happened, resist seeking revenge but at the same time cut off the ways they can keep hurting us.  If you can relate, here’s what might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Reject the Mess.  Try to feel confident in the knowledge that at any point you can walk away, and do so on your own terms.  You’re allowed to say “this is not ok”, even if they don’t like that and even if they double down.  Sometimes the only way to facilitate change is to say what needs to be said – we do what we can when we can.  One of the things I teach on my courses is to ask yourself a series of questions, such as:

  • What message do I need to convey?
  • What is the risk of me conveying this message?  
  • What is the best way of conveying this message to ensure it is received meaningfully?
  • Am I ready (or willing) to take questions?
  • How will I respond if the message is not received in the way it was intended?

Often, we may choose to keep the peace by doing nothing and honestly that’s ok.  But it’s also important, as Dr Thema Bryant says, to ask yourself “who’s peace am I keeping?”  Sometimes we roll over because it’s just “easier” but in the long run we pay the price anyway.  

There are of course reasons we feel this pain so deeply when someone is rude or we feel rejected, and all of it understandable.  You can ask yourself whether you really care about the opinion of the person who’s been unkind and, while it can sting, does their opinion really matter? It’s also important to take time to reflect when you need but do consider their rudeness does not define you. We can accept people as they are and at the same time put them where they belong.

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You might also like: my book Answers In The Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal, out now.  

© Delphi Ellis 2023