“We’ve all been there.”
It’s a saying I think to myself as often as I can in an attempt to transform a moment of frustration with someone into an opportunity to find a connection with them.
We’ve all fogotten to send our kid in without their library book, or lunch…or, their entire backpack.
We’ve all forgotten a friend or family member’s birthday.
We’ve all accidentally thought we’d done 50 double-unders, when we actually only did 37.
We’ve all forgotten to close our side of the garage at night.
We’ve all been late.
We’ve all gotten caught up in a conversation after a workout and forgot to put our barbell away.
We’ve all not been able to find something that was actually right in front of us.
We’ve all been guilty of checking our phone at a red light only to miss it turning green.
The more I take a hot second to thinkbefore I reactto someone who’s done something that bugs me for whatever reason, the more I am able to remember a time when I’ve done the exact same thing. I can, then, not only find more patience with their behavior, but I can also ease the tension by letting them know that we have, in fact, all been there.
It’s not that you’re telling them it’s fine and that they don’t have to worry about making a better effort next time. In reality, they probably feel far more guilt about what’s happening than the amount of frustration you’re feeling.
It’s more that you’re relieving the stress of the situation just enough for them to want to make sure it never happens again. Because positive change is far more likely to come from a less stressful experience, than from one where pressure is being forced onto someone who’s already stressed about what’s going on.