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3 Things to Remember About the Behavior of Others

Updated: May 18, 2022

All of us are impacted by the behavior of people around us, whether the impact is direct or indirect. This is the nature of relationships and the bittersweetness of doing life together.

When we claim we don’t care what others say about us or what they do, we only speak partial truth, which really means we’re not speaking the truth at all. There’s no denying that the wrong thing spoken by the wrong person at the wrong time will surely trigger some wrong (negative) feelings and emotions. And what’s worse, is that a wrong response could spiral the situation into more and more wrong.

Remember, the actions of others are…

1. Easy to Misinterpret

One of the true tragedies in misinterpreting the actions of others is when something done to you is mistaken to mean something (negative) about you. This is double trouble because not only do you absorb the negativity of the thing said or done, but you also absorb additional weight and guilt when you choose to accept the blame for what has happened to you, blame for someone else's behavior. Think about this, there is hope when you accept responsibility/blame for your own actions, because you have the power and ability to change and make better choices. However, it can feel hopeless to except responsibility/blame for someone else’s actions because you are powerless to change those actions. You are left to try and cope with what you can’t control.


The lie is that this happened to you because there’s something wrong with you, or this keeps happening to you because there’s something broken or messed up in you.


The truth is every person is responsible for what they choose to do, and what they choose to do exposes the truth about what’s in them, not what’s in you.

Remember, the actions of others are…

2. Impossible to Control

There is not much to be said here except the fact that we cannot choose for other people, only ourselves. You can’t work out to make someone else more fit. You can’t eat healthier and improve someone else’s wellbeing. And if you could choose for them it really wouldn’t be much better because you too are flawed and prone to error. Here are two quick questions to consider.


What if you took the energy from your frustrations and agitations with the behavior around you to fuel and motivate necessary changes within you?

How would that change things for you and the people around you?


What if you extended much more respect and grace to yourself so you can then extend the same to others? Whatever is being expressed out of you is the direct result of what’s going on inside you. Much grace within means grace extended. Much criticism within means criticism extended.

Remember, the actions of others are…

3. Unpredictable, so Prepare Yourself

We all have expectations for ourselves and others, and hopefully we all understand that those expectations will not always be met. Our level of preparedness when things don’t go as expected determines whether our response will help the situation or make it worse. Taking the time to process certain scenarios and possibilities to increase awareness and preparedness can be a game-changer.


What would happen if you committed to be better prepared daily for the unexpected things over the next 6 months?


What would happen if you focused more on your ability to influence others versus your ability to critique and control others?

I’ll conclude with this; it feels good when you can clearly see the positive adjustments you make in life having influence on the behavior on those around you. It is extremely rewarding!

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