Do you talk to strangers? You must, either online or in a store, at work or through friends. We all interact with strangers, sometimes even daily. What are other people’s reactions to what you say, whether it be about the weather, politics, work, society, etcetera? Does it depend on the place, situation or online area (social media) in which these thoughts were exchanged?
Perhaps, but what gives strangers the right to be rude? Do people become rude and aggressive when they don’t know what to say and you have stumped them? Do they get upset that they don’t understand what you are saying and take it out on you? Do they have preconceived notions as to what your concept is about and won’t listen to your thoughts? Do they feel as though you are telling them how to eat, live, and breath? Do they feel because they will never meet you that they can talk to you any which way they want?
I get these types of reactions from people all of the time, it’s rare to get someone engaged in conversation with what I like to speak about. Not too many people are well versed in the many subjects that Greg and I are interested in, which includes a lot of world politics attached to those subjects. These controversial subjects make some people really uncomfortable! What makes people react in such ways?
It is because in my case, if you are talking about GMOs, people can take that as you are saying that they are poisoning both their bodies and their family’s bodies. They get defensive because they feel as though you are attacking them, no matter how nice you say it. If you are talking about vaccines, same thing, people get defensive because you are basically saying that they are hurting themselves and their children. Who wants to admit you are hurting yourself and your family? No one!
So we have to understand that people can react to you in any which way they choose, but it always comes down to “What hurt them deep down inside, by you saying what you said?” We are a reflection of each other and as soon as we realize that the better off we will be. For instance, you are a mirror for me If I don’t like how you are behaving, it is because it is a trait within myself that I don’t like. Plain and simple! Or is it?
The people we are in relationship with are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs, and simultaneously we are mirrors, reflecting their beliefs. So… relationship is one of the most powerful tools for growth…. If we look honestly at our relationships, we can see so much about how we have created them.
-Shakti Gawain teacher, author (b1948)
Can someone feel empowered and say whatever they want to another whether or not it hurts them, lets say on Facebook, because they are a friend of a friend and will never meet you in real life? Does this give them the right to speak to you in such a way that emits aggressive behavior? No, it does not. However, do they even know why they are upset at what you just said? If we looked at our behaviors and asked ourselves “Why is this person making me so upset by what they are saying?” or “What is it in regards to what they are saying that triggered emotional anger?”, it is something within ourselves that we do not like. No one likes looking in the mirror only to notice a flaw in your being!
For instance, I was talking about GMOs on a picture of Oreo’s that was posted on Facebook. The person posting the picture does not eat GMOs, so I knew that this was to evoke a conversation on her Facebook wall and I dove in gently to the person who commented, saying that they would eat them everyday. I said:
“Do you know about GMOs? If you don’t here is a good website to become familiar with them. http://www.gmofreepa.org/faqs/ I hope this helps.”
I think that was gentle enough. Even when they said they did in fact know about GMOs, I said:
“Awesome. Wasn’t sure if you were aware of the hidden ingredients in Oreos though. The Sugar, Canola oil, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, Soy lecithin and Chocolate are all GMO. That is almost all of the ingredients.
Original Oreo cookies contain enriched flour, sugar, high oleic canola and/or palm and/or canola and/or soybean oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, leavening, cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin, and chocolate.”
So she said: “So I tell you I know, yet you insist on telling me anyway. You’re one of those people who tell people what’s in hot dogs even tho they know what’s in them. So again, I know. Ill have a few extra Oreos tonight:)”
I was categorized into a group of people that help other people eat better, imagine that? Apparently they did not want my help, but I just find these types of reactions completely rude because I do not know how much they know about GMOs and their hidden ingredients. So she assumed I knew what she knows as far as GMOs go. Not everyone knows everything about them and my job is to educate people on them, but every once in a while I get this kind of reaction to subjects I talk about, especially GMOs.
So I ended the conversation by saying: “Just trying to help and wasn’t sure if you were aware of everything that GMOs are in or what the hidden ingredients are. Sorry for helping out a fellow human. I will make sure to never help out another human again. See how ridiculous that sounds? Just as ridiculous as you having an Oreo cookie just to throw it in my face about GMOs.”
So this person would rather hurt themselves then embrace the information I gave them. Perhaps it was too fast to just jump in and talk about GMOs, but I thought I was being as nice as possible without judgement, plus it was on one of my GMO Free PA Volunteers Facebook wall. She wanted to create a conversation, I suppose, but those types of conversations, I am noticing, never end well and people end up walking away angrier then the moment they walked into the conversation. I stopped commenting right after my second comment, it wasn’t worth talking to someone who is going to come at me with rage. Nothing good comes out of rage!
However, to analyze why this happened and how this persons’ reaction came about, is very simple. She thinks either I am judging her without even knowing that I don’t judge, just observe, or she thinks that I am shoving it down her throat, which I also didn’t do, I first gave her a link and when she knew about GMOs, my thought is that she may not know about hidden ingredients, so I wanted to show her to help her, but it wasn’t received that way. So either way, I will not be able to rationalize with this type of person and unfortunately I will walk away, even though I know that they eventually will be harmed by the toxic chemicals in the foods they are eating. To me it’s sad that they know about them and yet refuse to help themselves eat better. It’s like knowing you have a source for clean water and not taking any and yet you need it to survive.
Whenever we react to someone else’s comments and we react with negativity, aggression, pompousness and anger: it’s because we don’t like what we see in the mirror!
Most people are mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times. Some people are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
-Sydney J. Harris
Perhaps you are talking to someone who is a racist, they say something out of line in regards to the person behind you being of color, you get upset and outraged. Could this be because at one time you were a racist and feel bad you behaved like that? Could it be that you experienced racism in your own household growing up? Could it be because you were teased as a child for having frizzy hair and were called names relating you to African Americans?
There is a reason it offended you and it is usually because we experienced these feelings growing up or in adulthood and didn’t like how it felt. In the end, it is always because of our own emotional baggage that we get upset at situations or others.
Another example is if someone says “Everyone should eat healthier” and someone replies “Who are you to tell me what to do?”. Could it be that they reacted this way because growing up they were told what to do without having any choice? Could it be that they were always eating healthy food and they were never allowed to have junk food? Could it be that they have low self esteem from authority figures constantly telling them how to be, live life, and do things?
Any of these could be the answer, but it always comes back to you and why you reacted the way you reacted based on your own life experiences with others.
Take a look at yourself every once in a while and ask yourself, really ask yourself why you are reacting to something, the way you are reacting to it. You might be surprised that it has nothing to do with the other person, but it has everything to do with you!
“It is when you lose sight of yourself, that you lose your way. To keep your truth in sight you must keep yourself in sight and the world to you should be a mirror to reflect to you your image; the world should be a mirror that you reflect upon.”
― C. JoyBell C.
© 2014, Ready For The Shift. ™ Wendy & Greg Zangari, All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute these articles on the condition that the content remains complete and in tact, full credit is given to the author(s), and that it is distributed freely.