Your behaviour sets the standard, it draws the line in the sand of how you are perceived. What you do, how you do it and how you often you do it all factor into this equation – the equation that is you.
When your actions impact on others, it creates a memory. That memory stays with them and when you interact with them again, they add to that memory. For most of us, this is a combination of good and bad because, let’s face it, we are sometimes good and sometimes bad.
The idea is about achieving balance to the good, so that our interaction is more positive than it is negative. That way we know we’re doing okay. Some manage to get it right a lot, the amazing people that always leave us with a good feeling after every interaction. Then there are the people who get it wrong a lot, draining and demanding. They can be exhausting.
It’s easy to dismiss these exhausting people – and sometimes they are their own worst enemy in this regard, because they just never seem to get the message. There are those, however, that become this way because of the burden they carry and when you open a door that offers peace and respite, they might react by over-using that offering. It can be hard to know who you are dealing with, when you need to be patient and understanding and when you need to save your sanity.
Now the thing to remember is that each interaction builds a certain tolerance or resistance – and each subsequent interaction builds from that. So when you spend time with someone and they are nice, then each meeting builds on that niceness. If the experience is negative, the next experience starts off at a certain level of negative. Add those negative experiences together over time and having even a neutral experience with that person becomes almost impossible.
This is an important balance that needs to be managed. Sometimes negative interaction is necessary, but it is best to keep those interactions to the minimum possible. The harder the negative narrative is pushed, the harder people will push back, both to save their sense of peace and also because no-one wants to live with a negative outlook constantly darkening their day. It is simply too exhausting.
On a final note, you ever heard of osteo-odonto-keratoprothesis (OOKP)? Neither had I. It is a form of opthalmic surgery used for restoring sight. Unbelievably, this technique has been around since the ’60s. Why unbelievable? Italian ophthalmic surgeon Professor Benedetto Strampelli developed this technique which is performed using teeth. Yes, you read that correctly, teeth are used to repair eyesight. Look it up, it’s quite amazing.