Have you dealt with unassertive people? They fall into two categories- either aggressive or defensive. Both kind of put you off. While I think I can deal with the aggressive lot, the defensive ones are more tricky. They are quite polite but scheming- there is a hidden agenda which one can’t tell easily. At present, I am dealing with a colleague whom I have offered several good suggestions after she circulated minutes of a meeting which showed some problems with the organisation, plus there were some discrepancies. Her response was defensive- “Well every thing is okay, really!” And of course, typically, she did not even correct the wrong dates recorded in the minutes. Why ask for suggestions?!! I wondered. It was a ‘loss-loss’ situation for all of us.
The way most of us react to this kind of scenario as well as to petty jealousies is to try to deflect our own good qualities by apologising and coming down to the defensive level as well. Instead of raising the other person to try and be assertive, we try to come down to their level. We try to hide our own beauty, good qualities, talents and creativity in order to be liked- in order not to rock the boat. But this does not help either of one of us. The way I deal with defensiveness now is to leave the person alone and not bring myself down by keeping in mind my own qualities. I also hope that some day in the future such persons will also try to bring themselves up and be able to appreciate their own talents and creativity (and we all have it).
Spring is the time for cherry blossoms. The tree does not hide its beauty, glory and potential- it stays there for all to admire and look up to. We can learn from the cherry tree. Marianne Williamson‘s famous quote (often wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela) is just about that-
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
(cherry blossoms on my street)