As I was walking lost in thought to another building recently, I failed to notice someone walking a few yards behind me. As he overtook me, he told me off for not holding the door open for him.
As I snapped out of my thoughts and processed what he said, I realized I thought his comment sounded harsh. I had phrases like “how entitled” flying around my subconscious.
So, I continued to follow him with the intention of saying something about it.
Until I didn’t.
I’ve been paying more attention to my habitual attempt to have the last word of late. It comes from my reflex to fight fire with fire.
As I pay more attention to this, I’m learning to let go and separate stimulus from response from time to time. It doesn’t always happen. But, it is at least beginning to happen more frequently than it used to.
It turns out that I do just fine without having the last word – in case you were wondering. :-)
If anything, it actually results in less time spent dwelling on such situations. And, it is resulting in an improvement in my ability to look at feedback as input (more on that another day).
It was just another reminder of “when you want to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department uses water.”
Here’s to more of them.