Monday, March 7, 2016


In the past, I found myself in the unique position of having a woman with whom I worked actively loathe me. There were many reasons for this: I had become her boss, I was changing processes and procedures, I was asking questions about the nature of our work that made her feel she had to defend her decisions, etc. I was following the instructions of my boss and working to change the way we did business, and change can make people uncomfortable.

When she took to the Internet to express her hatred of me, she did not see or care about the fact that I was following instructions, or that I was changing things to make it better for everyone. She  could only see what she perceived as the truth. She couldn't have a conversation about what we were mutually experiencing or why we were experiencing it. She couldn't meet me halfway or ask me questions about why things were changing it why it was believed that they needed to change. Instead, she embraced the idea that I was the devil, poking my nose in where it didn't belong, changing things for no reason, making her life miserable because I thought it was fun -- and once she had grabbed onto that with both hands, she refused to let it go. 

She was afraid of change, you see. Hating me became a security blanket. She needed her hatred of me to get through the day. In a world that continues to change, that was her new constant, her touchstone.

So I let her keep it.

The reality is that sometimes, people can't cope -- with stress, with change, with life's curveballs -- so they find something to anchor them. An idea. A "truth." Sometimes, that truth is not representative of what is actually true, but that doesn't matter. The illusion is necessary for that person to feel safe, secure, and justified.

It's unfortunate, I think, because life has to change. People have to change in order to grow. Fighting that makes no sense. Every one of us needs to grow and change to move forward.

It's not always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts a lot. That doesn't make it less necessary.

There will be people in your life who are not ready for change -- theirs or yours -- and who will blame you for taking the next steps. They will find a truth that may not reflect your reality. They will hold that truth like a blanket and wrap themselves in it.

Let them.

It will be hard, and it might be painful, but you cannot pry their willful misconceptions from their hands. You need to accept that it is filling a need for them, and respect how desperately they need to hold on.

Just as you wish that they understood why you have to let go.

No comments:

Post a Comment