Don’t Shoot the Messenger
The messenger brings with them a message that is not really their own. It has been given to them, to deliver to you.
If you don’t like their message, if you don’t want to receive what they’re sharing, you may feel angry with them. You might want to shoot the messenger. But consider, is it the message you don’t like, or is it the person delivering it? There is a difference.
If it is the message you disagree with, take a moment before you shoot the messenger. Consider that your disagreement with their message is not necessarily a reflection of them, it is more a reflection of you. In seeing the messenger as the source of the problem, you aren’t seeing the difference between the message you are receiving, and the person delivering it. There is a distinction. The message is what triggers you, and the messenger is simply a deliverer of that trigger.
We are so much more than the messages we (consciously and unconsciously) share with others, and we are so much more than our emotional triggers. In recognizing yourself as both a giver and receiver of these potentially triggering messages, you share in the responsibility of knowing this emotional truth. We are all messengers, we all have value to share, and yet we can not be defined by this role and other people’s reactions to it. Our work is to be responsible for how we deliver our messages, and how we receive the other messengers in our lives. Working to know our triggers, we come to fully embrace our role as messengers, as we learn to distinguish the value of the messages — and the messengers — in our lives.
photo credit: David Seibold