Friday, November 5, 2010
A Call to the Flip Side
A friend of mine called me the other day. After a brief "catching up", she proceeded to say, "I need your help looking at the flip side." The mere fact that she thought about looking at the flip side is what I am trying to accomplish. She was at a volleyball game for her daughter with her family. Some kids and parents at the game were being very unsportsman like and later downright inappropriate at a children's game. Without going into details, the whole event bothered my friend. How could parents let their kids act that way and sit back and watch? How could a mother act so hostile at a children's volleyball game? She didn't understand it and she was letting it affect her own emotions when there is nothing she could do about it now. She called me to try to work it out, understand it and feel better about it. We talked for a bit. I gave her my take, i sympathized and I let her talk it through herself. Maybe the woman got so mad because she felt attacked in a public place. Maybe she felt guilty that she might not be doing a great job parenting and someone called her out on it. Whatever the reasoning for the woman's behavior or the kids' behavior, we have to see it from another viewpoint and realize we don't have to waste our emotions on something we have no control over. Now is the time to think about what might you do next time. There will be a next time. How can you resolve the problem in an effective way by understanding where the woman might be coming from? By the end of our conversation, I think she felt better about it. It didn't change what happened and she probably has residual sore feelings about what happened but she took control of experience by looking at the flip side. And.. she asked a friend to help her do it. Her sharing will help me in the future to think about what I'd do in that situation.