This is a minisode in between regular episodes to check in on how we’re doing with a practice we talked about in a previous episode. Here we talk about how we’re doing with letting go of “should-haves” and making peace with our past mistakes.
Laurén wrote in after Episode 14: How to Deal with Regrets & Should-Haves to say, “Loving the episodes and this week made me think of a follow up suggestion: rude people and how to deal.” She talks about a short, unpleasant encounter she had recently with a woman in a store.
“This stupid, meaningless interaction has kept me up late for a week straight. I keep thinking of come backs that I should have said. Ways I could have turned the tables back on her if I were quicker and wittier. I have devoted so. much. energy. to it.
I’ve tried to reason that maybe I caught her on bad days (everyone is fighting their own battle, right?!) and I’ve tried to visualize her as a small child (I’m pretty sure but not positive that this is a path to having empathy for your enemies), but… this flame of hate (and self-disappointment in not being able to simply say, “I’m not sure why you’re being rude to me” in the moment) burns bright!
Any tips on how to disembark from the this spiral when someone ignites this feeling in you?”
We absolutely feel you on this, Laurén! Such injustice!
Melia says, as much as possible, don’t engage – as tough as that may be! Engaging usually escalates the situation and causes more unpleasantness. And you just don’t know if you’re dealing with someone unstable or vindictive, so don’t risk it. You could explain what you’re trying to do, like “I’m just trying to get some information,” hoping to inspire their empathy, but wrapping up the interaction quickly is probably for the best. You can keep in mind something comforting that Darren says: “At the end of the day, you get to be you, and she has to be her.”
Gill says if you have to deal with someone on a regular basis, you might need to engage so they’re not rude to you all the time. You might give a polite but firm pushback, like “I’m not sure why you’re being rude to me,” when it feels right. You can just keep in mind that people are unfortunately just jerks sometimes, so don’t waste any more time and energy on them.
This is a good question for our listeners. How do you deal with rude people – both in the moment to them, and then later on so you don’t dwell on it? Thank you for getting in touch, Laurén – we really appreciate it, and we hope we get some good answers for you.
How We’re Doing with Regrets & Should-Haves
Gill has felt pretty good about this practice recently. Her nightly reel (a replay of all the ways she thinks she’s messed up) has not been as aggressive.
Gill was able to shake off a vague negative work comment and remember that almost all of the feedback she’s received has been very positive. By actively stopping the spiral (step 1 in our 5-step process), she recognized that she did everything she could to try to address the problem, and she tried to look for lessons moving forward. She was proud that she didn’t let it ruin her whole day. She’s had some smaller regrets and should-haves, but she’s trying to catch herself and focus on taking action starting now.
Melia has also been doing well in this area. She offers this advice for people who regret not finding their path until later in life:
Think about the people and experiences you would have missed out on if you had done the thing you were meant to do from a young age. Things happen in due time. Think about if you’d been able to control the timeline of certain events in your life; they might not have worked out like they’re meant to.
Melia has met some of her closest friends through her paid work, and she’s had plenty of experiences that go into her real work of personal development. And though she may have designed her life to meet Darren earlier, they both changed a lot in their post-college years, and they may not have stayed together if they had met back then.
Melia still finds should-haves challenging – “I should have started this work project earlier” or “I should have managed my time better so I’m not stressed now” – but she’s trying to go easier on herself.
Tell us how you’re doing with your own regrets and should-haves. Email us at podcast[at]semitogether.com, or record a voice memo on your phone and email it. Thanks for tuning in to our minisode!