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You Are Not Responsible For Other People’s Behavior

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You are only responsible for how you behave in response to other people’s behavior.

I was the only person waiting in line at a coffee shop when a man entered the store, ignored me, and went right up to the counter. I said, “Sir, the line starts over here,” pointing behind me and the sign stating Wait Here to Be Served. He looked at me and said, “You can wait. I am in a hurry,” and placed his order.

In the past I would have continued the discussion or wanted management to intervene, attempting to get him to own his rude behavior. But I’ve learned the benefit of behaving differently than the awareness that creates a negative situation. So I did not say anything else.

There may be some people who think I am weak or a push-over, but quite the opposite is true. People who do not care how their behavior negatively impacts others are not in control of themselves. They may think they are, or that they have gotten away with something, but sooner or later negative behavior always comes back. At least that is how the inconsiderate and egotistical behavior karma thing worked for me because at one time I was far from in control of myself.

In relationship it is not possible to fight fire with fire and not get burned. Sorry, but your prideful, defensive ego will justify all sorts of behavior and rationalize reasons you should ego-box with rude, self-centered, and arrogant people. The truth is we cannot reason with unreasonable people. Someone who justifies being inconsiderate and rude is not open to hearing the truth about their behavior. So, it is a choice to lower yourself to the negative behavior of someone with the idea you have to defend your pride or point out their bad actions to teach them a lesson.

We are not weak for remaining in control of ourselves so we don’t behave negatively when provoked by an inconsiderate person. Honestly, we are the strong one, each time we remain polite when someone is rude. In the moments we are tested and choose not to ego-box, we are powerful over the only person we can ever control or change – ourselves.

One of the best things we do for ourselves is replacing the habit of ego-boxing with a new habit of remaining in control of ourselves. From experience I can tell you with complete honesty that being in control of ourselves is addictive, in a very good way. It is a pure rush of self-love and respect to walk away at peace with ourselves because we did not let someone’s behavior dictate how we act. Intentionally choosing to be responsible for how we behave in response to other people’s behavior is true power.

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