Ask Abdi: How do I deal with a mean colleague?

QUESTION:

I wanted to ask your advice. It’s been quite a time of lessons for me, I feel like I’m being pushed in every part of my life and just trying to stay up.

I’m working with someone on a project important to me and he has revealed himself to be quite mean, out of nowhere has been very critical and offensive to me about my way of working (I’ve tried to take in anything that might be correct) but we need to work together for the next year, I obviously need the energy to make the project great as it’s so important to me. The way it is set up, he is a valuable part of the equation and is very good at his job, however he pretty much runs over me and I’m trying really hard to remain strong. I have a lot of flux with work and no grounding in terms of my relationship yet (he is married with kids) and so I am working hard to keep my feet on the ground, breath and remember I’m capable and be respectful to him. I just wondered if you have any words of wisdom about how I might help myself remain sturdy and remember my worth in the face of someone who is throwing a lot my way, I hope that makes sense.

 

ANSWER:

It is a time of deep lessons for every one right now and we are all being pushed beyond comfort. It’s clean up time. The areas that we are being pushed/triggered the most are the areas that we need the most polishing. Not easy but helpful to bring awareness to this fact. Remember that this person is a teacher for you. That doesn’t mean you have to buy them flowers, just hold that awareness. Things are rarely about the thing that we think they are about. A relationship that is seemingly about work or love is a bringer of teachings that might seem totally out of context. Remember that too: you are being placed in a situation that you can not easily escape (the person is crucial to your work) so you have to face this aspect of your own self.

First and foremost, it is important that you start every day by grounding your self in your Self. Being ungrounded in this situation would be detrimental. This involves starting each day with some form of sitting and grounding. The grounding you are doing during the day is helpful but it has to be connected to a longer self connection before you start your day. I have found that the more grounded we are, the less people with these kinds of wounding and hence games can act out. Conversely, the more ungrounded we are, the more they are triggered and can get under our skin.
On your own front, make sure that you are not taking a stand just because you yourself are getting triggered. If this person is good at their job, let them carry that part while you keep your vision. Know which battles can not be bargained on your end and which can be surrendered. Lastly, let your self be human. Obviously this is a stressful situation. Learn all you can while balancing between will and surrender. As with all things, this too shall pass.