Dear loves,Nov 03, 2023
I don’t know who needs to hear this…
We don’t get to decide if we hurt someone or not. Period. Whether it is real or perceived, this is a person’s lived experience of your impact.
It’s through others that we see our impact. It is through conflict where massive beautiful change can happen.
There are a couple ways to handle when people share that you’ve harmed them:
- Resist, deny, become aggressive, shut them down, continue to create better-than hierarchies. But remember, to degrade another’s experience is a dehumanization (even if they are lashing out.)
- Self flagellate, shut down, victimize yourself, become a martyr. In my eyes, this is a place to hide as well. To dehumanize ourselves can be a power play for attention and support.
- My personal favorite. Get curious. Listen. Be with your own discomfort, shame, guilt, sadness, frustration, etc. Reflect how you could have had this impact on them. Take accountability for how your words, actions, or lack of clarity (or something else) has hurt them.
- This is where you get to grow and evolve. This is a place where we learn about ourselves and get to accept “Yes, EVEN I can cause harm”….
- How will you move differently? More loving? More honestly?
- Make change and repair.
Mistakes are human. We can hurt people we love. We walk around like we know everything and our sh*t doesn’t stink, and we can blindly trample in people. Maybe are just trying to keep up and are stumbling and tripping all over our feet bumping into people all over the place. Sometimes we can be so invested in getting our needs met, we will actively manipulate people meet them. Yeah, all this happens all the time. Mutual harm is a thing too. And most people won’t tell you. Think of it this way, it’s a courageous act that they trusted you enough to tell you.
To change the world through your leadership is to face the people you’ve hurt with curiosity, accountability, and changed behavior. This cultivates a “we are all in it together” world.