It’s been a very stressful, sobering and insightful day for me today. And one where I learnt a valuable lesson.
I’ve always been very passive and very meek. If someone was nasty to me I would get upset and “hide” rather than address the issue.
And even at 38 years old it’s still something I struggle with – to be direct and to speak up for myself.
Today I heard – on the grapevine – that someone had said something hurtful about me.
And I reacted a way I never have before. I was hurt, and indignant and for the first time I wanted to say my piece. And I did – very directly. I contacted the person who was supposed to have said this about me, and I told them what I thought. And immediately ended the friendship.
And in some ways I was very proud of myself for taking a stance, and for the first time ever (and I do mean ever) tackling something head on and saying a few words.
The only problem?
I was wrong.
It was apparently a case of interpretation of what was said, and not a verbatim quote by the person who overheard as I had thought.
And I’m deeply deeply ashamed.
I went against my very valued Buddhist belief of not gossiping, and of speaking with kindness and understanding.
And in the process I hurt the person I accused, as well as the person who confided in me as to what was said.
I apologised to both parties, but of course the damage has been done.
Trying to learn from it though, I realised that there’s a reason I have always acted cautiously and not lashed out like I did. I acted without having the full story, and without giving the benefit of the doubt. And I also broke someone’s trust (unintentionally).
I was not nasty, and at least said my piece in a civil manner. But it was wrong regardless.
I feel sick about it still, but I feel determined to learn a valuable lesson from it, and watch my words – and mouth – more carefully.