A friend of mine recently came over and talked about a man he saw on the subway.
He happened to enter the car in area where the most normal place to sit down would have been in front of an extremely intimidating man. He recalled the man wearing army camouflage, large boots, half a shaved head and a generally ‘trying to intimidate’ demeanor.
As my friend continued the story, he recounted his thoughts. He recognized the man attempting to intimidate. Upon realizing this, my friend thought he had a choice as to whether or not he would allow the stranger to win by being intimidated and sitting far away or sitting in front of the stranger as he normally would have.
His idea was that someone in the situation was going to lose. One by getting intimidated or the other by not being able to intimidate.
I was kind of saddened by this, I couldn’t help thinking: What had happened in this strangers life that he would be so compelled to feel the need to intimidate people on an ongoing basis? Wouldn’t that signal a dire need in this person’s life?
I feel like the majority of us immediately go to this competitive mindset when interacting with people. But how much less stressful and happy could your day be, by instead of framing social interaction in a competitive sense, you frame them in a win-win sense? Where you doing what you can to help someone, makes your community better and makes you happier about who you are?
Sure, lot’s of times you won’t be able to do much. But at least the framing in your mind changes.. and that’s the seedling-start to everything.