How do you manage and cope when your personal integrity is challenged? Personally, in certain circumstances where I am either accused of lying or withholding information, or of not keeping to my commitments, I thoroughly struggle with not taking it personally. Ultimately, my goal is to see my part– to repair when I have erred– and to not only apologize, but to actually make a meaningful amends, and modify the behavior to ensure that it does not happen again.
I’m reminded of an experience that transpired between my daughter and I. For whatever reason, when I am stressed my fuse is short, and I tend to pick on those who are closest to me. This specific experience occurred after a long flight, where I was then bombarded with several stressful phone-calls and requests. My daughter was kind enough to pick me up from the airport, yet instead of being appreciative toward her, I lashed out at her for not being on time. Within 15 minutes, I felt terrible and I apologized to her. My daughter responded, “Dad, as much as I appreciate your apology, I know that you are going to do it again, so it doesn’t really mean much”. Initially, I was offended and I felt wounded by my daughter’s statement, yet shortly thereafter I realized that she was correct, and in that moment I made a determination to change. The greatest gift my daughter gave me was acknowledging this change, and affirming to me that she could see me really working on it.
What I have been able to recognize from this, is that when my integrity– or for that matter, my actions– are criticized, it hurts; however, when someone’s goal is to guide me with kindness and help me change my behavior, it is much easier for me to hear it, and to then formulate a plan of action centered around change. It is in those instances when someone is looking to blame me or accuse me without the desire for repair, that I then find myself truly challenged. Do I just get angry with this person? Or, do I elect to take a look at what I could have done better? Do I examine what part– if any– I played in the situation?
This is something that I find very difficult to do. What I have decided to do today, is ask myself in the least judgmental way possible: Why am I buying what they are selling? Why am I taking so much offense to what they are doing? And, if there is something that I need to change, then I shall do so.
This week, I am requesting your feedback. Would you tell me how you deal with circumstances when you feel as though your integrity, or for that matter your character is challenged? I would truly love to hear your feedback and thoughts.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love