It was cardio day at the gym this morning and I was on a crosstrainer getting into the rhythm of my stride. I was 42 minutes into my workout when my arms became tired so I put them on my hips and kept my legs pumping.
One of my gym buddies, Campbell walked by. He stood in front of me and mimicked me working out with my hands on my hips. He laughed and I laughed and he took a step away. Then he stopped, turned around and mimicked me again as I stood with my hands on my hips. Once again we both laughed. Then he did it a third time, shook his head and walked into the men’s change room.
I laughed off the situation and didn’t take it personally because Campbell and I have a pleasant relationship and he often teases me when we see each other at the gym.
A few minutes later he emerged from the change room walked over to me and said, “When I saw you with your hands on your hips it reminded me of my mother standing in front of me when I was a little boy, with her hands on her hips scolding me and saying, “Oh Campbell, what did you do now?” He continued on and said, “Seeing you just now took me me back to that memory.”
I told him that my arms had gotten tired so I put them on my hips to rest for moment. We both laughed (yes we laugh allot at the gym) wished each other a great day and he went on his way.
As I finished my workout I was reminded of something I speak to my therapy clients about on many occasions. How we respond to people is based on our perceptions, beliefs and our past experiences.
Have you ever encountered a situation when someone instantly disliked you and you had no idea why? You never met them before or if you knew of them there had never been any interaction between the two of you so the dislike didn’t make sense.
Your mind started turning and wondering why does this person dislike me so much?
Often that instant dislike has nothing to do with you but everything to with what has been triggered within the person when they saw you. Their reaction popped up because of their unresolved memories, issues and limiting beliefs. Your tone may remind them of the teacher who yelled at them in school, embarrassing them in front of their friends. The way you dress may remind them of a former boyfriend or girlfriend who dumped them and hurt them deeply.
The phrase or words you use may have flashed them back to how mom or dad spoke to them when they were a child. The way you sip your drink may remind them of loud and obnoxious Uncle Ted. While there are always exceptions, most often the person who instantly dislikes you is taking their negative associations and projecting it upon you. Their dislike has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their unresolved issues, memories and beliefs.
While you can’t control the inner thinking and workings of another, you can influence the situation by how you respond to their reaction.
If you react in a negative way feeling hurt and begin to wonder, “Why don’t they like me?” your reaction may take you to a place where your insecurities rise to the top. This may suggest that you have your own issues of self worth, confidence and belonging to deal with. If you respond to someone’s dislike or mocking by owning your worth, standing in your power and knowledge of your Self then you defuse the situation automatically.
So the next time someone takes an instant dislike to you or mimics you as happened to me this morning, remember it’s coming from their own “stuff” (technical term). But also notice how you react in turn. The way you respond will indicate how deeply you love and believe in your Self.
Check out my website site www.changfromwithin.ca for information on how to create inner resolution and change limiting beliefs.
Well put Ester. One of the greatest lessons I learned from several years of introspection and psychotherapy was “it’s not about me”. When someone else is angry or acting particularly difficult and I’m feeling attacked, it’s important for me to remember that their anger is not about me. I can choose to be offended or to just let it float over me. It’s hard to not “engage” when someone instigates, but I work at it. Thank you for the reminder!
As I mentioned in the post there are always exceptions to the rule and when we find we trigger the same reactions in people over and over, it is time to look at ourselves. But for the most part people are reacting from their own stuff. It’s liberating when you realize it. Thanks for the comment.
I’m interested in your opinion about this situation: I was in a big box store in the vitamin aisle. Since some of the items were on the lowest shelves I had to crouch down to see them. It was a wide aisle and I wasn’t blocking the way with either my body or a cart and I was only there for a few seconds. While I was in this position a middle aged woman walked between me and where I was looking and planted her butt right in front of my face! I immediately stood up and backed away. I said “Excuse me!” to which the woman did not respond. There’s no way this person did not see me and she was not in the aisle when I entered it. I can’t see this being anything other than a deliberate and rude assault on a pretty primitive level but I don’t believe in causing a scene. Your take on how this kind of behavior should be addressed?
Debra I “see and feel” this more as a subconscious action on the part of the lady rather then something deliberate towards you. As I tune in I do not feel that she is self aware at all and that many of her parts and aspects are running the show rather then she as the conscious mind. I tend to default to not engaging with these types of energies because they aren’t ready to hear or receive anything you have to say. At the same time if the action was aggressive I would stand up for myself. If you want to dive into some self exploration look at the belief or patterning of not wanting to cause a scene. I think you might find something interesting there to address.