You are crazy, you know…
October 28, 2009 § 1 Comment
It was a busy day as usual at the Himalayan Institute. I was on the phone managing business affairs with a telephone service provider. Under normal circumstances, there was always someone at the desk to manage the yoga clientele. As I remember, I did not have anyone mending the desk that day.
A man walked into my office, whom I did not recognize at all, pointing his index finger at me, yelling, “You know you are crazy!”
My immediate response to this man was to say: “Please have a seat.” And that is what I said with a hand gesture pointing towards the nearby chair. He reluctantly set down on the edge, not being restful at all in his mind and his body.
I sensed the trouble brewing at my desk. I elected to get off the phone, promising to call them back as soon as I handle the seemingly unwelcoming guest.
As soon as I hang up the phone, I turned towards this man and asked again, “What can I do for you?” Now, remember I was not sure who this person was and why he was not in a great mood to begin with. It was kind of unique to have someone yelling and calling me names in such a calm, serene, and very welcoming space.
“You know, you are crazy!” he repeated, pointing his index finger towards me.
My immediate response was, “You know, you are a good man.”
“What?” He was confused beyond belief. He looked at me, as if he saw a strange creature from a planet Mars.
I said, “You are a very good man”, while holding up my smile genuinely on my lips with eyes full of laughter.
“What are you talking about?” He grunted a bit with some form of agony. I am sure I was not hurting him physically. I was trying to keep my cool.
My eyes laughed louder than before and my lips vehemently repeated the same, “You are a very, very good man.”
“What are you talking about?” I realized that he is running out of words and had repeated the same sentence again. Is he confused? You bet.
I said, “You just called me crazy.”
“Well, to tell you the truth”, I continued smiling, “I am craziest of all crazies. I am a lunatic. And you just called me crazy. You are kind enough to call it mildly. You are kind of being nice to me.” My eyes were big and bulging with a smile reflecting kindness from my heart. I was not trying to hurt him, and I did not want to give up to his anger. Last but not least, I was not planning to become like him.
He got up abruptly saying, “You know what, I can’t even talk to you. You just don’t get it, do you?” And he just walked away from my office, and I never saw him again.
Until this day, I am not sure why this man was so angry with me. I try very hard to refrain from hurting others by deed, action and speech. To get this kind of reaction from someone was a bizarre occurrence!
Questions that I would like to ask you are:
1. Do you have to participate in other’s angry moods?
2. What happens if you got angry as well? What is the difference between the two of you?
3. If someone is angry at you or with you, how do you solve your situation at hand without triggering unnecessary commotion? What if it was your relative or spouse or a partner in life?
4. Do you think the same technique might work for you as well? I guess you may find out if you use this technique somewhere, some how!
5. What might be other ways to solve such situations while you are busy working? Do you know a simple, but practical method that the other readers may benefit from?
You don’t have to participate in other’s angry moods–but I think it’s easier if it’s someone you don’t know or have to deal with very often. If it’s a situation where it’s someone you have to deal with almost every day (like a boss, in my case)I think after a while it becomes toxic because you’re constantly having to be around that negative energy. You’re making an effort to not let yourself get upset, take the high road, not take it personally, remind yourself that it’s not about you, try to diffuse their stress. I think at some point you have to realize it’s just not healthy to be around that person and their negativity is having an effect on you.
There have been times at work where someone calls really angry or confrontational. If I start to defend myself (or the office)right away it just escalates and the other person gets angrier and so do I. When I just try to listen to the person calmly and not raise my voice (even if I think they’re a jerk)it diffuses their anger. I have to admit it’s really hard sometimes though.