Many of us go through our day angry or disappointed in the actions of others. Someone is driving under the speed limit on Niagara Stone Road when we are in a hurry, or someone pulls out in front of us from one of the roads or concessions. Or, remember that lady at the outlet mall who was so upset that someone got ‘her’ parking spot that she became a YouTube celeb.
This is the “how could you do that to me” syndrome. Well, I have to tell you that in many cases they actually didn’t do it to you. The fact is, they just did it. Now, was what they did bad? Probably. But we tend to take everything that adversely affects us as a personal affront which can create stress, anxiety, and in many cases over-the-top conflict.
The two per cent go about their business totally ambivalent to how their actions are adversely affecting the world around them, and in many instances, they honestly believe they are right, or at least what they did was not that bad, so we should just get over it. What can we do to neutralize how their actions are affecting us?
You all know the word ego. Put an M in front of ego to form a new word: mego. Here’s why: it’s me who gets angry. It’s me who is disappointed. It’s me who gets frustrated. It’s me who is upset, and it’s me who is 100 per cent in charge of how I act and react to what people do to me.
Therefore, when something or someone adversely affects me while I am minding my own business as I navigate the river of life, I will first silence my mego, then take a deep breath and reflect on what just happened. Can I get angry or disappointed in what just happened? Of course. If a bird just pooped on my nice clean car, I am going to be upset.
Silencing your mego does not mean you cannot show emotion. What it does mean is that I will not yell and scream and make this two per cent incident my 98 per cent by telling everyone I meet about the bird that will be affecting their day as well.
Let’s move this discussion from a bird or a stranger to an interaction with a friend or relative.
First, you might, using your inside voice, say, “really!” Then you would silence your mego and analyze what just happened.
As you become more adept at silencing your mego, this analysis will happen in seconds. Then you will decide whether or not you need to say something. You will find that in many cases nothing needs to be said because you will come to the realization that they, in fact, did not do it to you, they just did it.
If you feel you need to say something, then simply tell the person how their action has affected you, not what they did wrong. Example: “I know you believed that when you did X you didn’t think it was wrong, but here is how it affected me.” Ninety-eight per cent of the people will apologize, whereas the two per cent will not and probably give you half the peace sign. Still keep the mego silenced and walk away, as there will be no win in trying to convince that person that they did wrong.
You see, when you can learn to silence your mego, when you do need to confront someone about how their action has affected you, the proper words, without hate or anger, will be more acceptable to that person than name-calling or yelling.
Keep in mind, we are never in control over what happens to us as we travel the river of life, but we are 100 per cent in control of how we act and react. Don’t let your loud, screaming mego make you the next YouTube celebrity.
Ted Mouradian is the President of the 2% Factor Inc. and creator of the Law of Cooperative Action. He is an author and professional speaker and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org