Do you ever go to a party or event and it feels like there is this one annoying person who seems to be following you around?
You sit down and they are next to you, burting to spout their opinion to anyone who will listen. Even when you look bored! The speaker says be coachable, and somehow they know that they are excluded. They don’t need coaching.
They are ready to help everyone in the room. They were born to help. Their answer, bursting to be spoken is one you don’t care to hear.
When you swap seats, to escape, suddenly they are in front of you. constantly whispering loudly over the speakers, just as you are straining to absorb a juicy morsel.
When it is time to share, they are bursting to jump up, to get lost in a long tale moral, you absolutely need to know. You desperately want to avoid them and they land up having lunch right next to you. Or confiding to you in the Ladies Room. Every time one of these follow me type situations come up, when I feel the irritation rise, and I silently scream “why is this person following me?”
I pause and laugh inside, thinking about how people around us mirror us. What we feel is often reflected in others. The irritation subsides. I remember my Powerful Polite Woman. The one that just wont lie down with insensitive types anymore. My anti bully shield comes up like a super woman cape. My heart beat slows. I am in liquid fluid flow – me and my buddy Sharon Jakubecy and I coined the perfect word: Sliquid. I lean in and whisper kindly, “I can’t hear a word, do you mind?” Most of the time they get it, immediately apologetic.
Finally I don’t need to lose my temper or my class act. I can say what I think. Very comfortably. Knowing that I am talking to me. A part of me that needs to die. Swiftly.
For years, I dragged around my righteous anger. Swallowing my irritation, that some-one would whisper when I was listening, or rustle papers, while I was paying attention. Now I dont need to silence my need to hear. I don’t have to waffle in manipulative behavior. There is no necessity to slam internal doors, or beat a drum of indignation. I can lean in to ask. Bold, calm and sure.
Being polite does not mean you need to endure rudeness. Or keep quiet to keep the peace. Politeness has it’s own power. The power to speak without anger. To ask for what you want, in a kind loving way.
Most people respond better to a request than a demand, I think. What do you think ? I would love to hear what you do if you ever find yourself in a state of irritation.