July 11, 2022
Ever notice that when you’re frustrated, everyone wants to give you a hand? Whether it’s a big or simple problem, people just seem to feel it and everyone wants to help by giving you their opinion. Everyone that is, except for that one quiet person in the corner who seems to ignore all the commotion.
Everyone asks, “What’s wrong, tell us, we can help”, but the quiet one in the corner looks up, your eyes meet briefly, but then the person returns so methodically to the task they were doing as if you barely exist. The others, however, continue the barrage. “I can help you”, she says. “There’s nothing I haven’t faced”, says another. For you, you ask myself “why am I so eager to hear the opinions of others?” Am I looking for someone to pat me on the back—pet me—to make me feel better?
However, you find that in these situations, you need to remain calm – Maintain your mental balance first – while guarding your feelings. You’ve also found that if you accept the opinion of another, you had better be prepared for an ensuing argument if you don’t take their suggestion and follow it to a tee.
So, you kindly thank them for their offer to help and let them know that you need time to figure it out on you own. As Marcus Aurelius once said, you need “to retreat into myself”.
And what about that quiet person in the corner? As your dialog with the others has come to a close, the person in the corner again looks over at you, but this time with a strong presence in their eye. They smile, shake their head in agreement, and give you that genuine look of approval.
As only you know, that’s your trusted friend. They know you need to figure this out for yourself. They’re always there to listen, but unlike the others, will NOT speak unless asked.
Now using My S-T-O-I-C STORYTELLING method:
(S) Friends say I push them away when they are trying to help.
(T) “To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.” Zen proverb
(O) I needed alone time to think and figure things out for myself.
(I) Once I had my own mind straight on how I needed to handle the situation, I was able to listen to another’s perspective.
(S) The character trait that I improved on was self-realization.
The Stoicess’ Secret?
When frustrated, look to those who won’t speak, for guidance
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