WordFood - how we feed or starve our realtionships

- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

September 17, 2012

Send it Back to the Chef With Kindness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Julia Hubbel @ 9:31 am

You know how it feels when someone feeds you toxic WordFood. It’s tempting to hurl it right back, to be offended, to be hurt. However, there are other choices in our toolbox when someone is “in their stuff” and out of sorts.

We may have said or done something offensive without realizing it. In our increasingly diverse culture, this is easier to do. Sometimes no matter our best intentions, we may say something that years ago may have been innocent but in today’s climate is an insult.

They’re having a bad day, coming in from a tough family situation, walked out of a previous argument. You have no idea about someone else’s emotional state unless it’s written on their face and body language- and it often is- but not always.

So what can we do when we get a bad reaction, when someone insults or hurts us with toxic WordFood?

We can send it back to the “chef” with kindness, by saying “I’m sure you didn’t mean to say it that way. Perhaps what you’re trying to say is…” or “Thanks for letting me know your feelings. How can we now work together?”
By not taking things personally, you rise above the situation, and let the person keep their dignity. They’ll appreciate your graciousness.

Or, internally “spit it out.” If you’re on the receiving end of insults, you have to let this information and ugliness go through you, not into you. Understand that for whatever reason, the other person is in pain, and is inflicting it on you. As hard as it may be to not take insults personally, the higher road requires that you offer compassion. You are all right with you- it’s the other person who’s got a problem. This takes courage on your part. In the end, if you’re willing to let them work out their anger and frustration without engaging, you will be whole. They might or might not be apologetic. But you didn’t buy into the garbage they were feeding you.

Every one of us is subject to anger and frustration. In those moments we may fire off toxic WordFood to those around us that we regret. If we’re lucky, our friends, coworkers and loved ones will keep in mind our momentary madness. We all do it, and by offering this forgiveness to others, we can do it for ourselves.

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