I am working on an offering of my own, but started the day by reading my friend Dan’s post from a week ago. In this post he describes a disturbing, volatile, and probably painful encounter with another person at work.
Here was my response to him after reading:
Wow, what an encounter. My adrenaline is going and nerves humming because I understand exactly what that kind of an encounter is like. All I could think of as you were describing George and leading up to the incident is my Jerry. As you were asking the questions about what makes him think he can cross your boundaries and the other “you/me” focused questions ~ which is what I do all the time ~ I realized that George’s tirade probably had almost nothing to do with you at all, even though you seemed to be his focus and his target. It’s extremely likely that he has something going on personality-wise or mentally/emotionally like Borderline Personality Disorder or some other kind of Personality Disorder and he was feeling overwhelmed, out-of-control, invalidated and angry before he walked in the door and it just exploded all over you because it was an impulse he was no longer in control of. Does it excuse his behavior? No. However, it can be a reason and offer some insight and understanding.
We don’t hold a diabetic accountable when they go into insulin shock and act like a crazy drunk if we know and understand what’s going on with them. We figure out the best response to help them and to help ourselves in the situation. We never know what may be going on inside of a person’s brain and body: neurologically and biochemically speaking that may set an otherwise rational person off, send a surge of cortisol and adrenaline surging and take them back to the primitive fight or flight control center.
So, it’s no wonder your own fight or flight triggered and the urge to defend with the best offense was the overriding urge that you managed to rein in rather well after the initial foray. No need to criticize for feeding the troll, instinctive self-defense is almost impossible to override when ambushed.
Your next response was epic and amazing. Finding your Focus and making the decision to be the leaf. I recently heard a quote that is the title of a book I would like to read, “Don’t Push the River” (It Flows By Itself). So glad you wrote about this so I could see an example of it in action.
As ever, it’s good to know we are on this journey together even though we are apart.
Please go read it for yourself, you will be glad you did.