Mental Rental

A guy in his early twenties, I will call him Mitch, wise beyond his years, shared this story.

He said he was at work, and arguing with another person. Mitch was getting visibly upset over what seemed to be a senseless engagement, The first person just seemed to like to push Mitch's buttons and get him riled up. After it was over, another co-worker of Mitch's came up and asked him a question....

"How much rent is he paying you?"
Mitch looked puzzled and said only "huh"?
His friend expanded the question fully...
"How much rent is he paying you for all that space he is taking up in your head?"

In an instant, Mitch knew what he was talking about. He had been consumed with this person, they were always on his mind, always under his skin, and for no reason.
All of the arguments were pointless, the topics were meaningless. the other person was engaging Mitch, only because he took the bait and engaged back. He was able to torment him continually, arguing with him about senseless things, get him all riled up... and leave.

This is a hard concept, but a great one...
If someone is upsetting you... ask first: What is wrong with me?

- Do I need to engage with this person?
- Will they affect my career / family / goals?
- Why am I arguing in the first place?
- So what if I let them be right? Does my ego need to win?
If you are strong in your own mind about what your convictions are, what you are doing is right, that you are doing the right thing, that if you stay the course, others will eventually see the truth... then the suggestion is to not engage.

Do not let others tormented in their own worlds, become an influence in yours. Deal with any situations that arise with grace, poise, character and facts. If you start letting resentments towards another creep in, then the facts get clouded with fear, anger, frustration, envy and so many other emotions.

Sometimes you get in situations where the person has direct influence on you, and will impact you in a negative way, I treat those like a minor car accident in the road of life that was not your fault. Assess the damage, repair what you can, and get back on the highway, saying a prayer for the other driver, that they do no more harm. If you can, smile, wave and toot your horn on they way, they will wonder where you are going that you are so happy after just being in an accident. :-)

Remove that "For Rent" sign on your forehead. Be strong in your own head, make it a nice place to live. Smile nicely and politely close the door when others try to enter into your space and engage you with banter. You will find that they will quickly leave you alone and move on to the next mental rental.


Anonymous said…
Practice what you preach, Mr. Faulk. Make sure to realize when you should close the door, and when others are trying to close the door at you. said…
Personally, Some doors I have to leave open, and deal with the people at the other end. People with un resolved anger, resentment, that directly impact people that I love very dearly in a very negative and in one case life threatening way. They are a constant opportunity to repeat the serenity prayer often, and a reminder of the gift I have received that I say thanks for every day. Life.

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