It is amazing how frequently we escalate situations rather than accommodate people to help them resolve the challenges they are facing. Often what starts off as a fairly simple matter can be completely blown out of proportion when the persons involved and sometimes the potentially helpful observers do not quickly grasp the substance of the problem. The issue can then potentially move from finding a simple solution among a couple of people to a massive situation requiring a huge amount of resources, time, effort and money that we can ill afford, and frankly, should not have to expend.
Just last week, I was celebrating my 21st wedding anniversary with my husband at a lovely resort in Curacao. We were returning from a trip to the Ostrich Farm where we were immersed in nature. I got to stand nose to nose with peacocks who were not bothered by my presence, and ostriches that were more intent on the food I held out to them that any concern for their safety. We were heading to our room in this all-inclusive hotel, along the path next to the coffee shop that served snacks all day long, just in time to witness what could have been the start of a small skirmish.
A young man dressed only in dripping swim trunks, who my husband and I later referred to whenever we saw him, as the 'Pizza Guy', had just asked a better dressed guest to borrow his towel so he could get a slice of pizza. In deference to the other guests, wet and scantily clad persons could not enter the coffee shop. The guest however was clearly taken by surprise by this unusual request and tried to continue on his way. The Pizza Guy became agitated and possibly did not realize that he was raising his voice as he insisted to the guest that he just needed his towel for a moment to get a couple of slices of pizza. The fearful guest turned to the hotel official on duty nearby who, seeing what was now going on, started to ask the Pizza Guy to desist.
The Pizza Guy was starting to turn a different red from his tan when I intervened. I was listening and had sized up the situation. I believe I understood what was happening and it seemed pretty simple to me, so my question to the Pizza Guy was as simple. 'Which type of pizza do you want?' He answered. Fully clothed, albeit in shorts, I went into the coffee shop, selected the pizza he wanted, gave it to him and the matter was over. Later I saw him on the beach happily munching on his pizza. He was young and he was hungry!
There are countless lessons to be learned from this story. When we are surprised or interrupted as we go about our business, or when we blindly follow rules, or when we can't readily get what we want, all of which happened in this case, it is very possible that fear and frustration will set in. Then simple situations get complicated because we don't understand. When that happens, our emotions get involved and we could lose sight of what we were after in the first place. Instead of finding the simplest and best solutions we could end up spending tons of time, energy and resources in our lives and businesses that are not necessary. Improved understanding starts with increased awareness. If you want to build a level of awareness that allows you to be calm in every situation so that you could understand and find the best options, then I can help, and I am just a click or email away.