It is surely a very sad and sorry way of living, but many people do this- some knowingly and many many others are totally oblivious that they are doing it!! In fact, this is the reason why sensational, negative news have such extensive viewership. I will write another article about it at another time, make another video on that… but for today, we will look at how best to handle pesky, annoying people and sticky situations!
Does that sound familiar?? I suppose all of us who lead ‘normal’ lives come across people in stores, malls or even sometimes in the hallway- that we would rather avoid. But good social habits and sometimes cultural customs and norms- require us to be pleasant to them and greet- even when all our being would rather ‘run in the opposite direction’!!
I do not believe in typical pleasantries and usually if I do not have anything true or interesting to say to someone then I just avoid saying anything at all, as I don’t want to point fingers at anyone and create a negative scenario either!! But in this case, it was different… we were there right next to each other picking tomatoes and I had said the first ‘hello’ (oh, well!!) 😊
So, we meet and are chatting- asking those usual pesky questions of “Oh, how are you doing??”… “Great! What about you??”… now, the fakeness of this situation started to bother me, but other than being outright rude and walking away, there was not much I could do about it.
So, as I was walking home, it got me thinking… usually when we come across unpleasant situations, we try to close off our self. But instead of doing that, it is a far better method to open our self- and then, to observe the fakeness. I actually felt like a movie or stage actor- I was playing a part of this nice pleasant person, greeting that old colleague and saying all those nice things- but somewhere it was almost like I was saying the drama-lines with conviction (like a good actor) but at the same time, I was consciously observing myself as the ‘do-er’ of that action- or should I say ‘my acting’. And this conscious way of observing and maintaining a calm, open presence helped me immensely because instead of resenting an unpleasant meeting, it felt great to connect with those with whom I genuinely connected!
Though here I am speaking about chance meetings, we can use this same technique in any interaction where that other person usually draws out strong negative emotions from us. This could be that high-handed boss who chooses to pick on you and belittle you so he or she can look smarter. It can be a work colleague who oftens snoops in your work, so they can use that information to back-bite you and many other such situations where we do not expect it to be a pleasant interaction, but at the same time, somewhere we are required to be a part of it! Any time we dread an interaction because we feel it is going to be unpleasant, in all those situations, maintaining a conscious awareness with distancing can help immensely!!