We all have different needs, opinions and expectations right? In this post I’m going to explore how these things vary and the possible consequences of that.

Finding a way to keep someone out of your space

Someone I knew, we’ll call him Fred; had his niece living with him for a long stay. I remember him telling me that he wanted his office (at home) locked because he didn’t trust his niece to stay out of it. Fred was really quite wound up and concerned about it. He didn’t want her telling their family about his financial affairs!

We explored some ideas about what he could do and he was going to use one of the solutions that week.

A follow up chat, which soon turned into something unexpected!

When I saw Fred next, I asked him how it was going and if he’d found a way to lock the office yet.

Nobody else was present, so he didn’t have to put on a show for anyone; yet he snapped and almost seemed offended by the fact that I was asking such a thing! He made out like I was the one who was suspicious of his niece. How did I become the bad guy?

Do I behave in the same way?

Recently, I realised that many of us, have or are, responsible for doing something similar.
I may have slated my boyfriend one day and then behaved a similar way to Fred, when reminded about it.
I may have been cross with a colleague at work and said nasty things about him and then acted like everything was rosy and always has been!
I may have been to a store and had an awful experience but after going there again, then sang its praises, in a way that made out like I’ve never been disappointed there.

Why does it matter? Am I not allowed to change my mind?

In one way, you could say that it doesn’t matter, perhaps with the caveat; if nobody was harmed.
An alternative view it isn’t OK because you may have hurt someone’s feelings or said things that weren’t accurate in the heat of the moment. Thus you ended up lying or exaggerating because of how you felt at the time.
The way you felt may have resulted in you telling lots of people that someone of something was awful, when it really wasn’t that bad. This could harm their reputation and make others hesitate trusting or depending on them.
I think the biggest one for me is; if anyone witnessed both ‘versions’ of me in any of those examples above, would they trust me? Would they know where they stood with me? Would they view me as consistent and stable? Or would I appear emotional, as if I waver often and don’t really know what I think?

Why is there such a difference of opinion or emotion over time?

What I’ve realised is that when we’re emotional we can say and feel all sorts of things! However, when things calm down or when we realise that our perception wasn’t accurate; our tune changes! Suddenly, and perhaps without doing so consciously, we ‘forget’ the things we said before!

Take home point

It’s so easy to go with the wave of emotion.
It may even seem effortless to get swept up in it and get immersed in it.
However, what if we were surfing? What if we used the surfboard to ride the wave out? Could we use it to maintain a distance between us and wave, so that we weren’t influenced by it? Could we use it to avoid being swept up in it? Could it be the way to not forget our core; but rather, observe, ride it out and continue?
Wouldn’t that be better for us and others?

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