I spent this morning tied up in e-mail correspondence with a person that is "known" for being pushy, without boundaries and insulting, if she does not get what what she wants. In an association of 4500 members, she is known among the office staff for said attributes. In my position of a volunteer chapter leader, I get to deal with the e-mails back and forth. Needless to say, my morning was not pleasant. So what is up with that?
Sometimes people are so eager to get what they want that they are unaware of how they behave. Personally, I think it is easy to be pleasant and have good manners, when everything goes our way. It is when we don´t get what we want that our character is being tested and our true colors show. I am not proud to think back at my temper tantrums that I had well into my 20ies! I felt easily attacked personally, without ever hearing that there was just one more step in order to get things right and to achieve my goal. I just wanted what I wanted, when I wanted it. I must have gotten away with it quite a lot, growing up. It is one of the disadvantages of being a pampered child - eventually we all have to grow up.
Well, nobody has to grow, but I find it so much more beneficial to myself and my life quality, as well as to my success. Thinking of that above mentioned person, I probably will not forget how I innocently got in the position of having to "defend" the club´s policy, how she lashed out and tried to offend me on a personal level, throwing names around and saying untrue things. I realize that I will be cautious in the future when coming across her ever again. I see how she is isolating herself with that behavior and feel for her. It can´t be easy to be like that. But at the end of the day it is not my place to say any of that back to her. I stay polite and firm. It is so true that honey goes so much farther than the whip. I believe that we are all the same in that respect. For me, we are all human and I expect to be treated well and do my best to treat others well, even if opinions and goals don´t match.
Acceptance of what is and listening to the other person, trying to understand where they are coming from and what they need, how I can help them, has brought me more rewards and closer to my own goals than any temper tantrum in the past ever has. It is like a well kept secret, but it makes sense at the same time. There is an Austrian saying for that which goes "You wash my hand, I wash your hand. That way we are both getting clean".