Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have felt rolled over? Like a steamroller pulled up in front of your house, business, or conversation and as if to say, today, you’re it. Where people are talking about you and you are standing in there presence listening? Or a criticism comes your way that seems unfounded?
I had one of those moments today. It felt miserable. And reminded me of what young children must experience but not have words for. Or what patients feel when health decisions, good or bad, are made on their behalf. Or what it feels like to have someone think they know better and make a decision for you because they deem you unable. It completely took the steam out of my sails and made me feel like incapable, which was I think the intention.
One of my mantra’s from a favorite teacher a few years ago was, “Whatever the situation, our choice is our reaction to it.” I have breathed into this mantra many times in the last few years and share it in hopes that it will be valuable to you.
Who doesn’t feel it when someone rolls over you? We all do, and hopefully it is a rare occurrence. If you find it happening on a regular basis, I would recommend taking a look at who you are spending time with and evaluating the healthfulness of that.
The rollover happens for many reasons. The person is “trying to be helpful” or for some reason you are unable and someone has to step in for you. Those are neutral or even positive happenings, depending on the situation. Where it seems to run into trouble is when the person driving the steamroller is doing the rolling for their benefit. They need an energy pick me up and rolling you down provides that. Similar to bullying or put me downs, the bully in that situation is feeling badly and trying to make themselves feel better by putting others down. The steamroller is a grownup bully. For whatever reason, they did not get their needs met growing up (or in some way in their lives) and feel like making others feel incapable builds them up.
I feel compassion for this behavior. No doubt if the steamroller knew how to get their needs met in healthy ways, they would. They would not put down, degrade or generally dismiss others, they just wouldn’t need to. Bless them and their behaviors as much as possible. But also, don’t feel like you have to accept the steamrolling offer. It is absolutely ok to say, “no thank you, I value who I am, I enjoy being 3 dimensional, and graciously decline your offer to be flattened.” Or something like that.
We teach others how to treat us. We have choices about how to do that. We have choices about what our children learn, witness and experience, to a certain degree. My choice is to be as conscious as possible as a human and parent so that my kids might have the very best starting ground.
So the next time a neighbor, parent, or coworker gives you the opportunity to feel incapable and bad about yourself. You can choose to accept or decline that invitation. You are capable. Period.
Believe in who you are, always, always, and teach that to your children.