How To Be Gentle With People

Ever been in a “I really have to pee” situation? You know, when you feel your bladder exploding, no toilet in sight and the thought of just stopping on the side of the road (without any feeling of shame whatsoever) and just releasing that pressure, with that thought growing stronger and stronger as you go along?

When you’re in that situation every person you see becomes your personal enemy. Every minor obstacle (like a red light on your way home) stretches beyond normality. Every second counts as ten, or twenty or one hundred. You’re under pressure. Under physical pressure.

And if you happen to look at yourself during those moments you won’t recognize yourself. Breathing hastily, eyes popping out, trembling and perhaps all red. It’s a mere shadow of yourself.

We’ve all been there. That’s human design. When we have to pee, we have to pee. It’s how we’re built.

Now, switch over from that image and try to picture something else. A conversation. An encounter at the job with a colleague. Everything going smooth, words coming out from both sides freely, a feeling of flow. Then, at some point, something happens. You said something and you’re colleague is literally exploding. He starts yelling at you, protecting his ideas fiercely, without even giving you a chance to respond.

What do you usually do when this happens? The topic is not relevant here, only the reaction (it may be sports, politics, company policy or whatever).

Do you feel threatened? Do you start yelling back, trying to protect yourself? Do you leave the room and avoid that colleague for a week?

Each one of these approaches is a reaction based on misunderstanding. Or, if you prefer the simple words: ignorance. We literally have no idea what’s happening inside the other person.

Because, if we would know, our reaction would be very, very different.

Being Hurt From The Inside

Every time somebody is having an uncontrolled reaction, when a sense of urgency is blended deeply into their actions, when they behave like everybody is their enemy and time is of ultimate essence, well, every time you see those symptoms, you’re dealing with a “I have to pee” situation. The person in front of you has a very deep urge to unload some pressure. It may be that you said something that activated that release, or it may be that you were just there at the “wrong” time. Fact is, you’re dealing with an inflated bladder.

Our emotional body has ways of releasing pressure, just like our physical body has ways of releasing junk. Without those valves, both bodies will collapse. It’s a protection mechanism. Just like we can’t synthesize nutrients from all the food we ingest, we can’t process each and every emotion that we’re experiencing. And, for a while, we store the unprocessed food and unprocessed emotions somewhere. One of these places is your bladder, for liquid food. Unfortunately, for emotional junk, we can’t really see the places where we store them. We just put them aside, somehow. And, when you stored enough, you feel like you really need to let it go. Otherwise you will be literally hurt.

But not from the outside. From the inside. That’s the trick. That’s the mental switch we should perform. You think it’s something from the outside that is hurting you, but it’s not. It’s your own junk that was accumulated who’s finding its way out.

And, when the circumstances are right, when somebody says something that touches one of your “soft spots” – basically, one of the places where you store unprocessed feelings or emotions – you’re ready to explode.

How To Be Gentle

So, every time you’re seeing somebody out of control, you’re witnessing a “release’. And, every time you see someone screaming, yelling, thrashing, think at yourself under your own bladder pressure. Remember how you look when you’re in that situation. How every second counts as ten, or a hundred. How every person who might delay you from release would become your personal enemy.

And if you can do that, you actually understand not only the benefits, but the subtle inner workings of “how to be gentle”.

And then ask yourself: why treating them the same? Why yelling back? Why protecting yourself from them, when there’s nothing to protect from? Why avoiding them? They’re just dealing with their own unprocessed junk.

Observe, accept and move on.

3 thoughts on “How To Be Gentle With People”

  1. Nice article, Dragos.

    I can totally relate to this. I work in a face-paced industry where tight deadlines are the norm. Have to deal with a lot of desperate and impatient customers who wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

    Sometimes I also have to be desperate and impatient to my suppliers to get what my customers want, lol! It’s not always pleasant and I hate to do this.

    But yeah, being in this industry, we all know that we all have to pee and understand not to take it personally 😉


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