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What To Do When Other People Get Mad At Us

Last week I pissed off 2 people. Well, possibly more, but for sure 2.

I got a scathing email on Monday for a poor marketing decision I made and was flipped a double bird in traffic on Thursday. For sure that dude was mad.

My immediate reaction was to be angry and look for what was clearly wrong with that person.

But I pretty quickly checked myself.

I asked….ok Elizabeth….are they right to be mad at me?

This question sometimes really sucks.

Both were right. I don’t agree with their reactions, but I don’t get to control people’s reactions. I can only control my own.

I can accept that the email was warranted. I messed up. And I think I did cut the bird flipper off in traffic.

I did not mean to cause harm in either situation. But they didn’t know that. To them I just acted in a way that did not align with their expectations.

So the best response is to allow those folks to have their emotions. Apologize when appropriate, and just move on.

Instead of getting all in my head and letting these things have a big impact on me, I gave myself compassion. I chalked it up to being human on all sides and just let it go.

We all know that this is a good way to process bad experiences, but we rarely actually do it.

Instead we ruminate (and search for justification).

Why is that?