Why Did She/He Do That?
Why Did She/He Do That?
A friend called me about a situation where someone had been attacking her personally. She kept asking, 'why did she do that' because this person had been her friend until this situation materialized. She had to accept that this person's behavior had more to do with her own lack of self-esteem than attacking my friend. My friend was just in the line of fire. And it wasn't about her, although it did push a few buttons regarding her beliefs about her abilities and her expectations of her friends.
We all have beliefs about how others should act towards us or treat us, depending on our relationship with them. When those beliefs are challenged or violated by their behavior, our first reaction is to ask why they are doing that to us. And they are not really doing it to us, they would do it to anyone, we just happen to be the first in line. If the situation is bad enough, it can create a rift that will ruin a friendship or relationship and move that person out of our life. And it often happens quickly, so that we are left bruised and hurt, wondering what happened and what we did to create it.
Accepting others does not mean tolerating bad behavior and then going back to them, asking for forgiveness and then wondering if the situation will come up again. Sometimes we have to acknowledge that they have their own issues, accept their behavior as a reflection of who they are and take ourselves out of the line of fire. Remembering that since we are in the situation we have a lesson to learn too will speed this process and take some of the edge off of the pain and disappointment.
When we can acknowledge others for who they are, good or bad, it allows us to accept them and then to decide whether we want them and their behavior in our lives. The process is often not that fast, but it does release us from the pain of having to face more lessons in acceptance until we can learn them. This week, look at someone who is giving you a lesson in acceptance. You may never know or understand why they do what they do but that is not important. Can you acknowledge that this is who they are, accept that as the truth about them and then make your own decisions about how you will respond? What can you do to do to keep yourself safe, emotionally and physically, in this situation? That is your concern and where you can focus your efforts. Accepting often means we have to learn to 'let go and let God', acknowledging where we can make a difference and where we need to just turn in another direction.
(I like the term unskilled behavior for bad behavior)