Have you ever driven a boat across a river with a swift current? In order to go straight across, you have to point the boat into the current, to a place higher upriver than you are. If you didn’t aim into the current, the river would take you downstream to a place you did not intend to go.
Point Your Boat Upstream When Dealing With Others
Think of your daily interactions with other people in the same way. When dealing with others, some make the mistake of not pointing upriver to a higher place. They treat people rudely or with little respect and then are surprised when the other person treats them the same or worse. These rude people aim at a point “straight across the river” which results in the entire interaction getting dragged downstream and into the mud.
When the interaction ends up downriver, you have to go directly against the current in order to get back up to your aimpoint. This requires significant energy and effort, doesn’t it? Instead of expending all of that energy in the end-game, doesn’t it make sense to make the course corrections as you cross?
When dealing with a rude person, stay the course. Keep pointed up the river to a place higher than him by treating him with kindness and respect. This keeps you from sinking to his level, right? And if you don’t sink to his level, then maybe, just maybe he can take the opportunity to rise up to yours.
By treating others a little bit better than you would like reciprocated, the worst that can happen is your boat goes straight across the river as an ordinary interaction. The best case scenario would be that of an extraordinary one.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” –Norman Vincent Peale
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Day 3 on a paleo diet for me and Jen. Sugar withdrawal has caused extreme efforts on my part in remaining kind to others…