cartoon of angry penguinKind Promise: I will be tender with weaknesses.

I yelled at my husband the other day. I was swearing and shouting. This was Not Good and it made both of us feel pretty awful. It didn’t change any part of the situation that set me off. Then I had an aha moment.

I get upset about other people’s weaknesses

I’ve been exploring the idea of weakness during the month of June and my own weakness makes me a bit crazy as well. When I have Big Emotions about people’s failings, I not only have the initial upset, but I have a secondary upset resulting in feelings I have about having expressed the first set of feelings. It’s a vicious cycle

I avoid bushels of upset when I am tender with other people’s weaknesses.

When I am tender with weaknesses, everyone else seems nicer

Very rarely are people trying to tick me off. Most of the time, they are the stars of their own show. They are trying to get what they want or avoid some pain or make their day a little easier. Sometimes, they get in my way or push my buttons.

Being tender with others’ weaknesses means remembering that each person:

  • has his or her own Stuff
    Our unique histories make certain circumstances trigger knee-jerk emotions.
  • has areas of ignorance
    They don’t know what they don’t know.
  • has limits to his or her skills
    They can’t do what they can’t do.

When I move beyond my instinct to believe the other means to do me wrong and remind myself to be tender with their weaknesses, I experience the world as a better place.

Next time I feel my hackles start to rise, I will remind myself to be tender with weakness.