I found a perfect piece of advice for those of us who try to fix someone else’s distorted thinking. It’s an old Russian proverb that says:
“Don’t drive a car straight down a crooked road.”
Easier said than done, especially if we’re the target of someone’s erroneous accusations. At those times, it’s extremely difficult to resist springing into action—in defense of ourselves, armed with facts and mounds of explanations.
Trish, a client, is a good example. One morning she got up before Chad and went downstairs to start her day. She was relishing the silence and a nice cup of coffee when he suddenly appeared in the doorway. “Hey, what are you all ticked off about?” he asked with a scowl.
Chad had assumed wrongly. She wasn’t “ticked off”—her mood was in fine shape . . . uh, at least up to that point. His accusation instantly jolted her out of the tranquil spell that enveloped her, and she spent the next several minutes frantically attempting to get him to perceive her through a clear lens. (Click here to read more…)
Trish got snagged by his stuff. Soon, they were both swimming in their combined muck and guck. We all know that place . . . it serves no one.
That’s our little piece of insanity. We engage. We walk into a tangled web of distortion and accusations and try desperately to clean the other person’s lens. Or, another way to put it: we “try to drive the car straight down a crooked road.” It doesn’t work. The car lands in a ditch.
Names are changed to honor client confidentiality.
10 responses to “Avoid the Muck and Guck”
I have frequently been the one to accuse and I have learned to ask instead of assume. It’s been tough to learn and still learning.
Hey—if you’re a member of the human race, Alissa, accusing and assuming is as natural as breathing. What’s fabulous is you know you do it!
That is definitely one of my biggest pet peeves. It drives me crazy when I’m being seen in the wrong light. Unfortunately, when this happens I feel forced to do one of the things that I enjoy even less….persuade, argue or confront! I find it’s best for me to just relax and let it be!! 🙂
One of the pluses of getting a bit older, right?! Just a bit, Jennifer.
One of the hardest things to do is let go, which I think applies to this. We have to let go of engaging. There is a saying: “Drop the rope”
You’re right … the story falls into the category of letting go or dropping the rope. Thanks for sharing that.
My problem is on the opposite side of this. Whenever someone makes a comment to me about me that’s incorrect, I automatically assume that person is correct and accept the blame for giving that impression. That’s worse than making the wrong assumption!
When I was a kid someone wrote the word ASSUME on a piece of paper and told me to never make assumptions because it will make an ASS out of U and ME.
So very true!
I have found I am also guilty in falling into the trap of defending myself and trying to get the person to see me in a better light. It usually does not work and my effort ends up being for nothing. Great advice Salee!
I have taken the invitation to believe what others have thought about me. Guilt leads to self doubt which results in having no value. Thank goodness, we can choose a different path.