Monday, January 17, 2011
Dealing With Rudeness
So here is my story:
A few weeks ago, I was at my local gym working out and I observed a father instructing his middle-school aged son to lift a weight bar that was obviously way too heavy. I noticed the boy struggling as he attempted to do shoulder shrugs and all I could envision was an injury. I could see the father had a certain arrogance about him. I had a suspicion that if I said something, my comments would more than likely be unwelcome.
Well, stupidly not heeding my own instinct to keep mum, after completing my bicep curls, I smiled and said, "If you guys lift less weight, you can do more reps." The father turned to me and scowled, "We GOT it? OKAY?!" I think if no one was around, he would have said more. I truly felt threatened. I then responded. "Oh, I am sorry." The man scowled even harder and I said, "I apologize, really." He rolled his eyes and mumbled something offensive. I walked away shaking inside. I went to another side of the gym and avoided further contact. I felt sorry for that man's child. What a terrible role model.
Why are some people so rude/mean? And, why am I taking it so hard? I always try to be kind, gentle, and caring. I have been this way ever since I was little. I was a friendly kid and when another bullied me or called me a mean name, I found myself feeling really hurt yet I got over it.
I think that is why I took an interest Buddhism when I was in college. I really do not want to make this post/blog about personal beliefs but I feel stating that will help shed light on my views. Despite my non-conflict nature, if my life is in danger, I will defend myself (albeit with a heavy heart). If someone is rude to me (which is rare), I usually walk away or try to dissolve the matter. When the man at the gym "put me in my place," I simply walked away. It is not worth snapping back, especially in front of a child.
I know there are all kinds of people in this world. I try to focus on the good in people and ignore the rudeness and callousness that exists in a few. I also need to remind myself what Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." If I wish others to be nice, than I am going to be nice. Period. However, I know that just being nice will not guarantee a nice interaction with everyone. I understand this, even if my initial response is that of disappointment.
In 2011, I am going to work on to letting negativity go and focus on the positive. There are just so many wonderful things for me to spend my energy on like improving my sewing skills, training for a marathon, spending more time with family, traveling, going skiing, and learning some new recipes!
So, when faced with rudeness, what do you do?