Pride, self-preservation and fear of rejections are often the destroyers of good things. Especially relationships.
At some point we were taught that the very worst thing that could EVER happen was rejection.
Doesn’t that word just make you cringe? R-E-J-E-C-T-I-O-N.
May I suggest instead that you learn to love and embrace that word? Firstly because in the hands of a wise soul you’ll find that it’s quite a fantastic thing. Used correctly it could lead you to wonderful things. Secondly understanding rejection and learning not to fear it may deal with the inability to use those two very important words: I’m sorry.
But “I’m sorry” is pretty useless when not backed by action.
I know some spectacular apologisers. The problem is after the umpteenth time of receiving the most remarkable apologies from them, without remorseful action to back what their saying, their apologies fall flat and in fact add insult to injury.
So what spurred this post on? This morning I visited a bank – more like stormed to the bank if I’m honest. I was fuming because I’d realised that I was being charged ridiculous fees on an investment account I’d been led to believe would NOT HAVE CHARGES!
The bank manager on duty fueled my anger by being a total ass!
She was dismissive in her responses to me – eventually I blew my lid.
I told her she had no right – absolutely NONE – to be treating me in the manner she was – I had every right to be asking the questions I was.
Did I not read the “terms and conditions?” she asked condescendingly. And I was quite honest with her: “How many people read those? And on top of that I trusted my banker to be giving me the right information.” OK this is a whole other blog post – in short: read the damn terms and conditions people!
Long story short she then called someone else to help because she said she couldn’t do the math I was requiring of her. That I won’t even get into.
The gentleman who came next was truly gentle and the biggest difference between him and her: He acknowledged that I had been wronged – apologised and said he would ensure the problem was fixed. That banker is the ONLY reason I chose to stay with the bank.
Isn’t that what we need sometimes? To just be heard. For our feelings to be validated.
There are times I’ve had fights with my husband, and after a while of “You said… you did… you made me feel… You don’t…” and every other argument there is – there have been times I realise perhaps the point isn’t who’s wrong or right – maybe the point is for us to validate how the other feels. Sometimes I’ll just say, “I don’t need you to understand why this would hurt or upset me. I just need you to get that I’m hurt. Just please acknowledge that.”
In business, in friendships, family bonds and other crucial relationships we sometimes miss the ball when we insist on being right.
When that customer rages because they feel they’ve been wronged – the worst thing to do is dismiss them and tell them about your rules, regulations and policies. And for crying out loud don’t be an idiot and ask if they read the fine print!
When a loved one fumes – don’t tell them they are being unreasonable and fling accusations in return. Even when they are mad (and some of us are) – give them the room to fume, to hurt and to say how they feel.
I leave you with this: Years ago I was watching Dr Phil talk to a woman who was desperate to show her husband how wrong he was at every single turn. She had a way of doing things and she wanted, nay needed, him to do things as she wanted. Eventually Dr Phil asked her, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”
In my opinion being right is not always worth it.
A person who feels seen, heard, validated is more likely to bring their defenses down and more often than not – they become putty in your hands. Putty I tell you.