Tip of the Week
Tip: Put a name and a face to it!
One of the most difficult things in life is knowing how to deal with offenses correctly. Each of us has been offended by someone at some point in our life. It may have been intentional or maybe it was accidental. In either case, when you are offended, it can create long-term consequences if not dealt with properly.
I have discovered that most offenses are not as all-inclusive as we often make them. In this particular Tip, I am going to give you three examples, although I could give you a lot more, to help you see exactly what I mean. And, in order to “protect the innocent” the names are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular. Now, let’s get started.
Suppose you were to go to a restaurant where the service is slow and the hamburgers are not very good. Your experience is poor so you decide not to visit that restaurant ever again. Later, when asked if you enjoyed eating there, your response might be something like, “Well, they’re just not very service oriented there, and we didn’t have a good experience!” Now is the time to put a name and a face to it. By “they,” do you mean that every person on the entire staff was not service oriented? Do you mean the manager, the cooks, the bus-boys, and the servers? Who is it specifically that you are referencing? Narrow it down to a particular person and put a name and a face to the situation. It would be more accurate to say, “We had a server by the name of John and he was not very service oriented. The next time we go, we will be sure to get a different server. I won’t order the hamburger again either.” See what I mean? The whole complexion of the situation could be changed when you recognize that “everyone” is not the problem and only one person caused the offense. All of the food wasn’t bad either!
Let’s suppose you work with a business and they do not assist you to your liking. Again, you tell your friends, “I don’t like doing business with that organization because they are not very helpful.” Who isn’t helpful there? Do you really mean to include everyone in the entire organization? Of course not! The offender may have only been one person who was rude or not helpful, yet without putting a name and a face to it, your picture of what happened in your particular situation gets blown out of proportion and distorted. When you put a name and a face to a situation, it makes the reality of the situation more pointed and focused and less broad and general.
One more example and I hear this one all the time: “I don’t like going to that church because they’re not very friendly.” Who is not very friendly? Is it the Pastor, the Minister of Music, the Youth Director, the church treasurer, the piano player, the janitor, or a particular parking lot attendant? Sure, one person may not have been very friendly to you, but when you put a name and a face to it, and say, “Well, actually there was one usher who seemed to be a little bit pushy and rude to us when we were trying to find a seat,” you isolate the problem to one specific person. That is when things will begin to change.
I once heard of a family that decided to leave their church and find a new one. The Pastor visited the family to see what had happened. After being vague and general for over an hour, the man finally got specific and said to the Pastor, “I saw one of the deacon’s son put too much food on his plate at one of our Wednesday night church dinners!” That was the real offense. Now you may laugh at that and think, “What a joke!” but I am here to tell you that until you put a name and face on situations they will all be bigger than they actually are – I have seen this kind of situation my whole life! It is amazing! The only way you can ever make a real change is by truly understanding exactly what is taking place – not generally, but specifically! That is the key! And the more specific the better!
I think after those three simple illustrations, you get the idea. Everybody in the whole world is not out to get you! It is not everyone in an organization who is the offender. It is usually just one person who did one thing wrong that “set you off” and caused you to have a bad experience. When you allow your one situation to become so general that it gets blown all out of proportion, you cannot think clearly and deal with the situation accurately.
The next time something goes wrong, isolate it. Put a name and a face to it. Deal with it specifically and don’t let one person, who is not doing what they should do, ruin your experience. It just isn’t worth it!
I have learned that when you can isolate a situation and get it clear in your mind as to the one person who did or said something that was offensive, it causes everything to change and the situation gets much better very quickly. And, you will more easily be able to get past the offense and enjoy the life you so richly deserve.
This Tip will help you to have a more fulfilled experience in all that you do, if you put it into practice this week! When you stop being general and start being specific, everything begins to change! You’ll see!
Tip: Put a name and a face to it!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm