Mad At Me…

With a pained look on his face he said, “I’ve never really had people mad at me and then subsequently dislike me.” It was hard to hear his anguish, but even more so to see how significant the revelation about not being liked was having on his entire being.

In my experience the first time a wave of folks being displeased with you as a leader, or any time in life for that matter regardless of the circumstance, can have a significant impact. Some respond to this displeasure coming their way with what appears to be a cavalier retort, “I don’t care what people think about me!” My sense is the sincere healthy response is to have some sort of sting when faced with awareness of ire toward us.

Colleague Mary Kay DuChene from LeaderWise, in a recent blog post entitled Practicing Self-Differentation, suggests it is critical in times of strife to, “Stay connected – first with myself…and next stay connected with the other person (him).”

How others feel about us, or their actions, belong to them. Where our agency lies is in our response to the perspective others have towards us. What is key in my experience is staying connected to ourselves through our awareness of the emotional impact. It is critical to avoid the impulse to dismiss or diminish the other person. Our agency also lies in honest self examination of the allegations leveled against us, and taking responsibility where our words or actions have impacted another.

In the end, our greatest agency is to hold those who are not at peace with us in prayer, ever hopeful that healing and reconciliation one day may come to fruition.

Bless me this night, O God
and those whom I know and love
Bless me this night, O God
and those whom I am not at peace
Bless me this night, O God
and every human family John Philip Newell

2 thoughts on “Mad At Me…”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: