WHAT WE'RE MADE OF
People don't always respond to us in the way that we would like. We think they'll be enthusiastic about our ideas, but they're not. Our friendly greetings are met with cold stares. And what was meant to be funny is taken as criticism. One thing we can't control is the way people respond to us.
Sensitive people can get their feelings hurt quite easily just by an unexpected response. I remember a certain woman I worked with who wouldn't say Hello to me when I greeted her as she walked by. She simply stared straight ahead and kept walking, no emotion on her face. At first I thought she didn't like me until I learned that others had received the same cold response from her.
I decided not to let her unfriendliness affect my actions, so I continued to say Hello, and she continued to ignore me. After a while, instead of being annoyed by her, I started to feel compassion for her. What could possibly be going on in her life to make her so lacking in human kindness? I never found out, and she never surprised me by saying Hello.
We wouldn't be human if we didn't feel some kind of rejection when people respond negatively to us. No one enjoys being ignored, put down, or misunderstood. But as long as our intentions are good and our motives are pure, it really doesn't matter how others respond. Sometimes the bad response is a sign of their problems, not ours.
We can't control how people respond to us. We can only control our own actions. But that's an important thing to control. When those negative responses hit us, we get to decide how we're going to handle it. We get to show the world what we're made of--compassion or hatred.