In one of my blogs, (https://systemsofchange.com/our-unique-journey-be-patient-with-how-the-path-unfolds/) I wrote about the impact of impatience on our journey. Shortly after the three experiences noted in that blog post that highlighted impatience, I saw three situations which highlighted a possible “antidote” – balancing impatience with kindness and patience.
Consider other situations and contexts in which we define something as an “antidote”.
We talk about:
- finding the gift, the gold, the good in a negative experience
- using a complementary color to create a balance
- uncovering the positive we can take with us from a challenging relationship
Finding the “antidote” can help us see new perspectives, appreciate another person’s point of view, let go of the negatives, and take responsibility.
The need for an “antidote” was underscored for me while listening to a video where someone was giving their opinion on the current environment in the country. In that short video, I heard at least five areas that could benefit from a possible “antidote”. They included:
- Deflecting blame onto others
- Generalizing that one group of people was entirely at fault
- Coming through as being unwilling to listen
- Providing a comparison that sounded to me like comparing apples and oranges
- Appearing to be in a place of denial
Phew, that was a lot in one short video.
As I thought through possible “antidotes, I reflected on the following
- When we blame someone else, we are pointing a finger at them. In that same action, we are also pointing three fingers pointing back at ourselves. What if instead of blaming, we were to look at our role in the situation (the three fingers pointing back at us), or find ways to make things better?
- Calling out one group of people is responsible for “everything” leads us to put people in a box, create obstinate opinions, block new perspectives, and disconnect from others. What if instead of creating the judgment of a generalization, we were to look at how to discern the nuances in how everyone is different?
- Denial blocks us from seeing or hearing a perspective that differs from our own and may cause a person to be resistant to an “antidote”. I recently worked with a client where counter-examples to what they resisted lessened their denial over time.
- The client at first could not see how they might at times be dishonest; a quality that irritated them about someone else. As we discussed it, I asked – don’t you ever lie to protect your child? The answer was yes. The resistance to being dishonest continued and the next time I asked, have you ever promised to provide a deliverable by a certain date and missed the date? The answer again was yes. I was starting to hear acceptance (acceptance is an antidote to resistance). I could it hear it again when during another conversation, the person said – “I lied to someone”.
Take a moment and see how an “antidote” could help you open to a new idea, behavior, or understanding by trying one or more of the following
- Stop blaming and start taking responsibility
- Discern the nuances within your generalizations
- Find the gift, the gold, the good in a negative experience or relationship
- Look for the middle ground in a black and white perspective
- Ask a question rather than judge a person’s opinion
- Counter an emotion with a different feeling
Let me know what “antidote” you tried. Or, if you feel challenged with these options, contact me for a complimentary coaching conversation and discover how shining the light on hidden patterns can unlock a new perspective.
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