Do you get so stuck doing things the way you want them done that you aren’t supporting others along the way?
[ctt template=”3″ link=”eeRez” via=”yes” ]Do you get so stuck doing things the way you want them done that you aren’t supporting others along the way?[/ctt]
If you are like me and are honest, that might be exactly what you are doing. I’m guessing it isn’t intentional, but it is the message you are sending.
Years ago, my mom said something that made total sense. To understand my mom, you need to know that she shows her love by giving. She gives time, and she loves to cook and bake for you. Mom will spend hours in the kitchen and bring you far more food than you can eat in a day when she comes to visit. This is love to my mom.
It was Christmas a few years ago, and our adult kids and mothers joined us in Florida. Mom, more or less, plopped herself in the kitchen and cooked all day, every day. She ran my kitchen like a restaurant. She cooked way more food than we could eat, she filled the freezer (we were only there for two weeks), and she singlehandedly ensured that we all gained ten pounds over the holiday.
When someone got up in the morning, Mom cooked each person whatever they wanted for breakfast. Instead of announcing that today was pancakes, she would cook six different types of breakfast if that was what anyone wanted. I got angry with her.
I didn’t want her working in the kitchen all the time, and I didn’t want her running the kitchen like a restaurant. I can’t tell you why I didn’t want her to do that, but I didn’t. It felt indulgent to treat my kitchen like a restaurant, and that’s not how I raised my kids. It felt selfish to have her do all the cooking, and in reality, I wanted to spoil my family with my cooking love as well. I felt pushed away, and I reacted by getting angry with her.
She said to me, “When you don’t let me do what I want in the kitchen, you are denying me the ability to make others happy.”
I realized she wasn’t trying to take anything from me; she was showing her love. Since I didn’t like her version of showing love, I tried to take it away from her.
Neither of us intentionally tried to hurt each other, but we did.
Do you criticize the person who brings donuts into the office? Does it feel like they are trying to ruin your healthy eating habits?
Do you get frustrated when one of the admins on the team happily makes coffee, empties the dishwasher, cleans the company fridge, and keeps the office kitchen clean because you feel the task is demeaning and not part of an admin’s role? Do you think that when they do those tasks, they demean all admins in the process?
[ctt template=”3″ link=”8H4Jg” via=”yes” ]Do you unintentionally deny other people their happiness because it isn’t what you want?[/ctt]
Do you unintentionally deny other people their happiness because it isn’t what you want?
I know that it is through food that my mother shows her love. My thinking overruled what I already knew, and I got angry with her because I was making it about me. When she reminded me that by taking away what she loves, I am taking something from her, I looked at the situation differently. I didn’t want to be the person that hurt her because I was taking it personally.
Perhaps the reason someone is buying donuts is not to hurt your healthy eating goals. Perhaps it has nothing to do with you at all. Perhaps they are showing their coworkers (all of them) that they are appreciated through a small gesture of food.
Maybe the reason your coworker does the office housekeeping is the way they show love and appreciation to others. Maybe they are doing it because they know no one else wants to do it, and they get happiness from helping others by doing the jobs no one wants to do. Maybe it has nothing to do with the optics you are concerned with and more to do with what brings them pleasure.
Once Mom and I had our heart-to-heart about her running a restaurant in my kitchen, I realized that I was trying to control what brings her happiness.
What right do we have to do that with anyone?