Untangling from Drama

28 May, '16

This week’s #TryThisThursday will resonate with a lot of us. This week’s assignment is to “Untangle from drama. No one can ruin your day without your permission.

no-drama

Who hasn’t had to deal with drama and came out the worst for wear? Who haven’t felt their energy almost completely drained after such a situation. Who hasn’t felt the depression setting in and the self doubt rising?

After such a draining situation, I usually tend to feel so low that it takes me days to recover from those ugly experiences. Not the last time I was dragged into drama; though. I was actually able to recover within minutes. I’ll tell you why.

The market in Bahrain is quite challenging. We continuously have to re-invent ourselves in order for us to create new opportunities that actually create new markets. Or we have to heavily invest in upgrading our skills and knowledge in order for us to maintain our edge and deliver a better product and service to our clients.

Few clients appreciate that, unfortunately, but those who do, we hang on to with all that we’ve got. They’re the ones who allow us to grow together. The clients that don’t are those who believe that in order for them to win, they have to ensure that we lose. Those we tend to let go of quite happily.

Both situations are clear cut and I’ve been in business long enough not to let those negative situations affect me much. In fact, we celebrate when we fire a customer just as hard as when we win a good one.

The issue I was faced with recently was with neither; however. Though someone connected. It was with someone who is neither but finds himself in a position of influence. And he would rather use that position to bad-mouth us – me personally – rather than do the responsible thing of at least bothering to find the facts and base his position on knowledge rather than conjecture.

I have come across his negative “influence” twice before. The first with a project that we took on as part of our CSR initiative at deep discount and has become delinquent due to customer inaction. The other was him raising doubts in the mind of a customer that our pricing was unreasonably high by conveniently neglecting to factor in the level of expertise, skill and intellectual property required to bring such a project to life. His thinking was that if a bolt cost $0.50, why should the installation of an aircraft wing, which the bolt is part of, cost so much more?

How would you deal with such a situation?

I talked to him; and he came out as sweet as honey and as understanding as a best friend. But immediately I turned my back, I felt the dagger dig even deeper in my back.

After the last interaction, I felt myself going into that depressed state once again. I do take things personally in these situations. How I deal with them is that I tend to try to get people to understand the situation more fully by sharing all relevant information and also share methodologies and pricing structure. I suppose this is me going on the defensive in an attempt to justify myself.

This time; however, as I was sliding into that ugly state, I actually stopped myself with a simple but poignant question: what was the silver lining in this situation? I was looking for a thing to be grateful for from this experience. It was the 11th day of my 90 Days of Gratitude commitment and thinking of things to be grateful for was becoming a habit. The answer was nothing short of a watershed moment for me.

My realisation was that his negativity was his persona and his method of living. Not mine. Negativity was engrained in his character. It was not my flaw. I would never be able to change that person’s negativity.

This is the deep realisation that allowed me to immediately move on!

The sense of wonder and peace I felt then were tremendous. I chose to be positive which immediately opened up a horizon that was bigger than myself and allowed me to look into the situation from a macro perspective, and arrive at a conclusion.

I did not give him permission to ruin my day. Rather, I would rather like to thank him for the opportunity he has given me to discover this new way of looking at things. A path that is more grounded and more worthy of treading, than the unconstructive, unwarranted, unneeded and destructive self blame and doubt.

That is how I was able to untangle from drama.

To celebrate that discovery, I recorded this on the 11th day of my 90 Days of Gratitude journey:

grateful for the realisation that rather than justify myself to a perennially negative person, I recognised the fact that their negativity is their inherent trait rather than my character flaw. This allowed me to move on.

I’d love to know your experiences in how you untangled yourself from drama. Please share your experience here.

Wishing you a completely drama-free life!

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  1. arie says:

    Dear Mahmood,

    You made my day thank you…”No one can ruin your day without your permission”

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