Over the years, I have found a way to be in relationship with friends, family and even strangers, that allows for ease and comfort in communicating. . .both for myself and for anyone I may be with in the moment. My usual impact tends to be positive, so I was caught off guard when my good intention went bad.
I realize that all I could do at the time was apologize, which I did, and now I am taking the opportunity to gather up some learning from my experience to minimize the likelihood of repeating my well intentioned boo boo with some other unsuspecting person in the future.
As in most occurrences I observe in my life, there is learning that transcends a particular set of circumstances and can be applied to other areas and relationships. In this case, at least for me, I am being reminded to think before I act....or speak.
So here's my lesson... use as indicated in your life if you have ever made the same mistake:
- Even though you have expertise, knowledge, coupled with confidence, do not offer it without checking to see if the other person desires to hear what you have to say
- Do not give advice, unless asked
- Do not invade another person's personal space, even though you would be comfortable if they were in yours
- Listen and respond accordingly
- Do not assume people know your intention; they may be very vulnerable and susceptible to being offended or hurt, regardless of what you say or do
- Remember that everyone is having their own experience of life and it is always wise to assume that they are competent and able to seek help if they desire it
I am grateful for the reminders of this lesson and regret that someone else had to pay the price for my temporary lapse of memory.
As I gently forgive myself, I move on, not with fear that I may offend again, but with a gentler and deeper awareness that life is a dance. At times I may step on my partner-in-the moment's toes, yet know that if I am mindful and aware in the moment, my impact will be one of greater sensitivity and will guide me to behave in a way so that my intention will match my impact.