Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Friendly Fire

   Sharing a link to this excellent article about how to think about "friendly fire," which doesn't feel so friendly. I thought the article did a good job of summarizing how to – or more importantly, not to – respond should you find yourself in this situation. And I did, last week, when a friend shared something that someone had told her about me.
   The two points that are the most insightful to me are: 1) considering the source of the comments and the individual's track record and behavior; and 2) understanding their world, their lens of experience through which they are casting judgment.
   The article reminds us that criticism is often a reflection of our own fears or shortcomings, rather than being a reflection of the person to which it is directed. Person who is stressed, unhappy, or insecure is more likely to engage in this behavior.
   Each of us is a leader in some way, and we're all prone to this type of criticism at some point. I'm glad to say that it hasn't happened to me very often (or maybe I just haven't heard about it?). But I also work on my own "brand" or character every day, with intention. They say character is more important than reputation because character is reality, and reputation is merely how others interpret you. We all approach life through our own lenses, and with changing perspective and emotions based on our experiences, our mood, and our reaction to what may be happening at any given moment.
   With that in mind, I'm not giving an credence to the conversation that was shared with me, as it is so easily discredited. Took me a few days to get over the emotional hijack, but I've moved on to thoughts that matter, and am happier for it. Life hands us challenges so we can learn from them and be better and more whole.