Over the years I have received the comment that I’m too nice when responding with anything that life throws at me. The comment is usually seen as a bad thing – that I didn’t handle the situation properly.
Our society tends to favour loud and aggressive people. I have been told that I should be more assertive to get ahead in life. However, when they mean be more assertive, they mean aggressive and loud. Just because I don’t respond in the same way that they do doesn’t mean my opinion is less valuable or I’m less powerful than them. Sometimes their opinions and comments are hard to ignore; you always hear them because they make a lot of noise. However, I truly believe actions speak louder than words.
Research shows that ninety percent of communication is non-verbal. I’m not saying you shouldn’t stick up for yourself and not be assertive. On the contrary, you should stick up for yourself; you just don’t have to be loud-mouthed and aggressive while doing it. My fashion of sticking up for myself involves different techniques than reducing myself to insults and getting involved in the arguing competition. I have witnessed many arguments in my lifetime, and when you fight back it seems to be just a battle of logic and who is better at arguing. I know people like this where arguing appears to be a game for them. Most of the time people say things in anger that they don’t even mean. Just because I use kindness to deal with conflict does not make me a weak person as some may believe. Rather, the actions I do to deal with conflict have a loud, positive, and long-lasting effect.
“It is tremendously important that we try to make something positive of our lives. We were not born for the purpose of causing trouble and harming others. For our life to be of value, we need to foster and nurture such basic good human qualities as warmth, kindness and compassion. If we can do that, our lives will become meaningful, happier and more peaceful; we will make a positive contribution to the world around us.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Yes, my answer is usually to respond with kindness. Does that mean I’m weak in body and mind? It can be really hard sometimes to deal with life’s trial through kindness. When faced with anger, threats, and hurtful situations, it’s tempting to respond in a similar fashion; but it won’t work, it will make things worse as you are adding fuel to the fire. It is important to find the strength to respond in kindness instead!
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See you at the beach!