It’s sometimes hard to realize something negative about yourself. But when you do, it’s important to own up to it, and make a change.
In my job, I work with a lot of different people. Some of them are very nice, and some of them are not so nice. Even when I encounter one of the not-so-nice ones, I try not to let it get to me. However, when I first started in my current position, there was one person with whom I had repeated issues. This person would request my assistance, but then deride any input that I offered. They belittled me and my work. They frequently went over my head to maliciously ridicule me to my supervisors. If I spent time trying to provide solutions to issues that this person raised, they would complain testily that they “didn’t want to do it that way”. In short, this person was an unpleasant bully.
The stories of this person’s behavior became the stuff of lore around our office. I was not the only one who had issues with them either. Everyone had a story to tell or an unpleasant encounter to relate. Finally, my wonderful department head intervened. I don’t know what was said or to whom, but most of the nasty behavior ceased. Since then, I have rarely had contact with this person, but when I do, it is usually fairly civil.
However, I have not forgotten, or forgiven, how badly I was treated at their hands. When their name comes up, I might roll my eyes, or make a comment about how impossible they are to work with. It’s become a favorite joke around the office about how I can’t tolerate them.
Today, I was brainstorming with a co-worker about an issue that had come up. When my co-worker admitted that “my nemesis” was tangentially involved in raising this issue, I began my usual tirade of how impossible they are to deal with. My department head overhead the comments and later asked me, very nicely, to in the future close my office door. His point was that we have frequent visitors in the office and would not look good to have an employee ranting out in the open.
He was so nice about it that I was ashamed of myself. He didn’t even point out that I really had no cause to complain any more about this person, as I rarely interact with them. And he didn’t point out that he had stood up for me and shut down the behavior, yet I still complained about this person every time their name came up, to anyone who would listen.
I began to wonder – why was I so unwilling to let my feelings go? I know I will never forget how I was treated, and I may never forgive, but I should at least be the bigger person. The more professional person. The more mature person. The more enlightened person. I realized that I had all kinds of resentment and vitriol for this person that I was more than willing to bring out at the slightest provocation. And that is when it occurred to me that, while at most times I am very nice, when it comes to this person, I am very unpleasant. Just like they are.
How have I allowed this person to continue to have power over me long after the bullying has ceased? Why do I still relive and rehash the same slights and injuries again and again? I have decided that it must stop!
I pride myself on being a problem-solver. And here is a problem that only I can solve. I resolve to let go of the negativity. I resolve to desist from the campaign of defamation against this person. After all, isn’t that the same thing that they did to me? I’m sure it will be hard, because, to be honest, I really, really, really don’t like this person, for more reasons than I have mentioned here. But that is no excuse.
I am on a journey to let go of my clutter in order to free my mind and bring myself peace. And I now realize that includes mental and emotional clutter as well.
It’s time to let go of the resentment and set my better self free.