Doesn’t it just piss you off when someone’s decision or actions come in the way of your plans? I was in this situation not too long ago. At first, I wanted to attack and give the person a piece of my mind, until….
“I’m so sorry to inform you that the girl presently renting the apartment has just been informed by her company that she will have to stay in Colombia for two more months. Unfortunately, the apartment is no longer available for you to move in this weekend. I apologize for any inconvenience, but, I know that you will be able to extend your stay at your current apartment. You may come to pick up your deposit any time.”
“WHAT THE HELL!!! Is this guy for REAL” were the first words that came out of my mouth as I read his email. I was furious and frustrated. During my stay in Colombia, I had planned to live in two different neighborhoods. I was five days away from moving into an apartment in a new neighborhood. One where I had gone to meet the owner, left him a deposit and signed a receipt.
I was about to start typing my response. Tell him that once an agreement has been taken, a deposit given with a signed receipt, it needs to be respected. Unfortunately, he would have to tell the other girl that the apartment has already been rented.
I decided to make myself a cup of coffee, sit outside on my terrace and think about the exact words to write back to him to really let him have it. It was the best thing I could have done.
Taking Time for a Breather and Reflect
As I sipped my coffee, I started admiring the beautiful view with all the mountains around me. I asked myself, “why am I really upset?” Turns out, I was just looking forward to moving to a new location and meet new people. I had taken this whole thing personally, like he purposely was taking what I wanted away from me. Basically, I was focusing on what he “did wrong” that created this situation. I felt like I was no longer in control.
I looked around me again, I thought, what a beautiful country! Everything I was looking forward to, I can still do, but, in a different way. There is still so much I have not explored, Rio Clara, Santa Fe, El Penon de Guatape. It didn’t matter where I lived, I can still visit these places with many opportunities to meet new people. In other words, I took responsibility on the actions I can take for creating my own situation instead of blaming him for it and expecting him to change his ways.
I have been in South America for almost a year, every country has its own culture and a different way of doing things. Sometimes we forget that not everyone has the same beliefs as we do. It is amazing how much you discover about yourself when you take the time to remind yourself of this. It opens your mind to different options other than just staying bitter and frustrated.
Understanding the Other Person
I thought about the decision he had taken. I placed myself in his shoes with his beliefs. The girl had been living there for several months working on a project for her company. Five days prior to her date of departure, she was told to extend her stay. Five days was kind of short notice to look for another apartment. I on the other hand, would just have to advise the owner of my current apartment that I would stay longer. This man was compassionate to the girl’s situation, knowing that I would not be left stranded. Then I thought about the times I have been in a similar situation as this man. The decisions I took had probably left someone feeling hurt, even though I based them on the best interest of everyone involved.
I felt a warmth and happiness fill my heart. Not only was I no longer angry, I saw this man as a wonderful person.
No need to apologize. I completely understand, you are a wonderful person to have taken a decision based on helping someone who needed it most:) I will come by tomorrow afternoon for my deposit.
What do you think? Has someone’s decision or action over a particular situation left you felling frustrated or angry? What if you take a few moments to really reflect and ask yourself “why are you truly frustrated?” Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, let yourself escape and free your mind of your own personal beliefs, what would be your answer? What actions can you take for creating your own situation?
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