This Shit Doesn't Belong to Me

Today, an instance was brought to my attention in my group message where a person blew up (unnecessarily and unprovoked) on one of my friends in a professional setting. She handled it with grace and tact and kept it moving.

I remembered years ago, at the start of my professional career, a colleague of mine did the exact same thing to me—over a situation that if I even described it to you all—you would be ashamed for her. Nonetheless, it happened and I remember being so angry and embarrassed that I had to walk away out of fear I would say something and then come off even more ignorant and unprofessional, as she had been. I remember being upset and questioning my actions that led her to become so angry that she stopped about a foot away from my face and proceeded to have a loud outburst/angry rant about me and how she felt I was wrong in the situation. She was verbally reprimanded which led her to “apologize” (it was not sincere, it was prompted and only a half apology) to me via email. Side note: If you are going to loudly, attempt to break someone down—make sure you apologize just as loudly when you realize you were wrong.

I say all of this to say, this was HER ISSUE. She had the problem, not me. She was the one that handled it unprofessionally, not me. You can apply this thinking to other situations—not just in the work environment. It is one thing when something IS of your doing or you provoked someone (you HAVE to own your part if wrong is on both sides), but it is another when IT IS NOT OF YOUR DOING. That is THEIR SHIT. That shit belongs to THEM. Do not take on other peoples’ shit. Practice this saying before you allow someone to upset you or take you out of your element: ‘This shit doesn’t belong to me.’ Stop taking ownership of other people’s shit (see: baggage, anger, frustration, guilt…). There comes a point in your life—somewhere in my mid-20s I realized it, that reacting to situations off the cuff was counterproductive to the growth I wanted to see in myself. So I started taking a step back, figured out how I wanted to articulate my feelings and then decided if the situation merited my reaction or not. Many times no reaction was the best reaction, but I realized this only when I stepped back and really determined what was the best way to handle the situation for my overall personal emotional goals.

Do you have personal emotional goals you’d like to achieve over your lifetime? For example, I want to ensure that I am always comfortable expressing my emotions. I like to be clear that if I’m upset I find where it is rooted—maybe in frustration, and then I drill down to where the frustration stems from. It seems like a complicated method of just figuring out how I feel—but feelings are complicated and as you express yourself more effectively, you’re able to pinpoint your exact emotion quickly.  Being able to do this effectively has allowed me to be able to let go of anger quickly and resolve problems with others wholly and honestly.

So what are some of your personal emotional goals? Do you take on other people’s issues? How are you going to work to stop taking on other people’s shit? Help each other out and share in the comments!




Brandis Haynes