It’s normal for us to always think we are consistent. That we are the same day in and day out. Rarely is this ever true. In working through an organizational issue, I discovered three individuals who work closely with each other having strained their relationships not due at all to any interaction between them but rather because of outside stressors in their lives.
After exploring their points of view through extended conversations, the stresses around each other’s individual roles caused each to act a bit differently. Without them even knowing this. Where no one took enough time to listen to the other person because the stress in their lives did not give them the space to process and reflect any conversation between them.
Hiding their hurt by being more selfish about their point of view. Insistent on the clarity of their misguided beliefs. Trying to experience their next day with less interaction to protect themselves from further stress and hurt.
Quick judgments about tone & wrong interpretations on the other’s behavior are a result of the distortion that stress causes us. Fo example, stress at work can influence the way we talk at home at the end of an exhausting day. Something all of us have experienced at some point in our lives.
Stress is like having a dull headache. Always present in the background. Dragging us down a notch, making us more impatient with the world around us. Making it harder to see the good in others. Interacting with others while subconciously trying to rid ourselves of the stress we feel in the moment. Nothing looks good to us when we are filled with stress. For it ever lurks in our mind. Keeping us from find ing any beauty in our day.
Making it more necessary, to share openly with those you trust and/or work with, you are hurting in this moment. Slowing down to question your interpretations of behavior in others seeking a more balanced understanding to correct the distortion that stress places on our perception. To go against the urge to shut down, by seeking connection with those around you. Forgiving the other person for their actions, once we realize that we too are guilty of these same imperfections.
Remembering that we change, in some way, during these difficult moments without even realizing it. For all of us are human. All of us hurt. Making stress no fun for any of us. Requiring both honesty and courage to move past our stress back to a more comforting environment called human connection.