sunlight wrote:It's tyranny & gloom every day ay the office.
Hey Sunlight, around here we say "This isn't a job. It's hell with florescent lighting".
I will confess. As you probably know, my smart@ss license is still valid - probably up for a renewal soon. As such, unfortunately, I've learned that AA slogan "It's better to give a resentment than to get one" all too well.
My old way of alcoholic thinking in those situations is: "Bring it on!"
Last week I had an assistant director try and come down on me real hard. She was filling in for my director who was out-of-town. I acted on my first thought. But it was a "Fisrt Thought Wrong" moment. She emailed me which included some unprofessional things that higher-ups shouldn't be saying, much less including in email.
I commenced to eating her alive. I shot back short, but very antagonizing and irritating responses like "You're right. You're always right. I'm an idiot. So what?" or "Your comments are noted. So is your attitude." If it would have gone on much longer, I would have probably told her that her butt is fat, her feet are too big, and she needs to get a better hair stylist. I also copied her boss, and my boss, and was pretty successful in making her look bad in a very short time.
Here's the problem. I didn't have a resentment. I was smiling and laughing, sometimes out loud. Each time I responded short and smart-@ssed, she got more upset, and said more things that were unprofessional. My responses were, of course, in "third person" or guarded so I wouldn't get in trouble. I wanted to make her break down on the job. I wanted to make her cry, and I was taking the DESTRUCTIVE actions that could bring that about. I was enjoying myself, not in the least bit upset or angry. I was "pushing her buttons" - I was a man on a mission.
Well that night I talked with my co-sponsor who I didn't need to convince. He just said there's a lot of jerks in the world aren't there? He was essentially in agreement with me at first. That began to concern me. I had to explain to him that I was having fun tormenting someone. As we spoke, I began to realize how wrong I was, and there were no "red flags" within me to signal the problem. I "felt" content and even joyful at what I was doing. The co-sponsor was puzzled because I didn't feel resentment, and he asked if I felt like drinkiing. Ultimately, it seems as though God was saying to me to pray which is what I chose.
I needed to see and understand within myself that the acting director was also one of "God's kids". She had a soul that was perfected. It was hard for me to ask God to remove my "reversed anger" because He would be removing something I felt joy and happiness about. But I prayed anyhow because I know prayer is a constructive action. I prayed for her the next day before I went to work. I asked God to direct my thinking and to help me to do the best job I could I could even if she was still in a tizzy, and I was determined to speak to her with dignity if I had to speak at all.
This was hard for me. This wasn't 5 or 6 years ago. This was last week. I'm certainly telling all of you is that I'm not proud of how I responded. My "feelings" were way way off from the truth. It was almost as if I was "getting intoxicated" from my feelings. The problem for me was that I didn't have a "disturbed" or "anxious" or "uneasy" feeling - those kinds of feelings make me stop and take notice and then inventory. This was when the "thinking" part of me had to come into action. And that had to be a conscious choice made without being motivated or disturbed by my feelings.
The next day turned out great - a total reverse of the day before. I grabbed the outstanding projects with both hands and dived into my work. Everything seemed to be going super-smooth. When I finished up, and was emailing my follow-up, SUDDENLY, without a thought or prompting, I punched in a sentence that complimented the acting director for her good judgement, and I sent the email with copies to her boss and the higher-ups. After I sent it I re-read it, and in the same way I chose those short, cutting, and smart-@ss emails, I plugged in a sentence that made that woman appear competent and in perfect control of the workplace. I was amazed that I did that. Puzzled and amazed at my own complimentary words.
My poor boss, who totally understood both sides, was off on that day, and when he came back the next day, he knew the director would also be back, the acting director would be gone to her nest, and the poop was probably going to hit the fan in a big way. But what my supervisor and the director returned to to was kudos from their higher ups and every single conflict and issue totally resolved.
One day, my reactions were the problem. Add in a prayer for my adversary, and the next day my reactions were the solution.
This taught me a lesson. It doesn't matter how or what I feel, my spiritual life and relationship with a God of my understanding sets the course of my prayers. My spiritual life is perfected and enlarged by self-sacrifice and unselfish constructive action if I'm working the steps and the program of recovery. It proved to me again that prayer works, but more importantly, constructive action never fails.
What that translates into for me is that when I pray the 3rd step prayer and ask God to "relieve me of the bondage of self", I'm no longer a slave to my feelings
. I can make a choice to "do the next right thing". To make it even clearer and simpler, all I have to remember is CONSTRUCTIVE ACTION always becomes the "next right thing" because it never fails.
So what I can offer to you, Sunlight, from own personal ESH is that I completely understand your dilemma from both sides. One side from being the "recipient" of negativity, and the other side from being the "giver" of negativity. These were my solutions in both circumstances:
1. Prayer works
2. Constructive action never fails
But I thnk more importantly is how I needed to figure out a way to get beyond my feelings and emotions that run high in conflicts. Two words that seem to always work for me are: have mercy