Recently I invited Cody Miller to come to my house for a SuperBowl party. He couldn’t make it and when he texted me that he couldn’t make it because he was studying I was disappointed. I wanted to respond with “Whatever” or some other comment and then I even thought for a second, “I just won’t respond at all that will teach him.” I did neither.
You see, Cody is one of the few people I know that thinks of himself last. He is currently going to school full time and studying like a mad man in order to pass tests. Even in doing this he is not being selfish. His motivation is not solely for himself, but for his wife and their future. I miss him, but I understand that what he is doing takes serious dedication and sacrifice and I am very proud of him for it.
So instead of reacting selfishly to his text message I responded the way a mature adult should respond, “Okay, good luck, I will miss you.” Cody wasn’t guilted into coming to my party and I felt good about myself for being mature when I wanted to be a petulant baby.
I also recently interviewed for an assitant manager role in the Help Desk here at TI. I thought I was the best candidate for the job and when the manager told me I didn’t get the job I was upset. Later that week I got an email from him requesting that people that used to work in the helpdesk come in and help out while some of the analysts were at a teaming event. My first instinct was to not respond in an effort to “punish” him for not hiring me for the job. Immediately I realized this was an immature decision. I emailed him and said “I would be delighted to help out” and in reality I would be. I wouldn’t have been punishing him but the analysts that work there in the help desk.
Communicating how I feel is difficult, especially face to face. My entire life has been a series of avoided confrontations. Indirectly trying to hurt someone is not fair to them or to yourself.
I’m still working on improving who I am as a person. Not a day goes by that I don’t live with regret for things done in the past, but I can’t change that, I can, however, change the future.
Take a moment and evalaute your relationships. Where are they at? Is there something you are doing indirectly to hurt someone? Are you avoiding a situation that you don’t want to deal with? These things only lead to stress and shame and in the long run – everyone loses.
Saying something by saying nothing only says that you are immature. So say something.