Don’t Let People Pull You Into Their Storm

Instead pull them into your peace.

James E. McGinley, PhD

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Woman holding an umbrella in the rain.
Photo by Kha Ruxury on Pexels

There is a little problem with drama and misery. They both love company.

We usually do not have to look far to find trouble around us. Friends, family, co-workers, even ourselves are dealing with issues every day. Some issues are obvious and easy to see. Some are not so obvious and lie hidden in people’s lives. But, hidden or not, trouble doesn’t like to sit still.

Often people will invite us into their storms, or try to pull us in against our will. Sometimes we have to resist, sidestep, and avoid the trap. But is there more that we can do?

It is not that we do not care. It is just that it is trouble loves one thing, more trouble. And, we usually have enough of our own already.

We face a balancing act. How do we keep our compassion towards others but stay true to our responsibilities to take care of ourselves?

Don’t let people pull you into their storm, instead pull them into your peace. — Pema Chodron

Have you ever had a friend that was in trouble, depressed, anxious, or in need, and you invited them over to talk or invited them out to have a coffee or a social drink? If you have, what you were really doing is offering them sanctuary. You were saying, hey, step away from what is bothering you for a minute and come over here with me where it is safe so we can talk.

The physical and emotional sanctuary you offered was a form of peace. It was a moment’s separation from conflict, drama, and problems, and a moment of unity with a friend. It was trading in the storm for peace.

I know what you are thinking. Sounds great until they start dumping their problems on me and sucking me into the vortex!

Yes and no. Will they unload their problems? Yes, that is the whole purpose of emotional support, being there for others with a compassionate heart and ear. Do we have to get drawn into the drama? Not necessarily.

The situation is tricky. Sometimes a little help does make a difference and we are glad to do it. But we have to know our limits and know where healthy involvement stops and danger begins. We have to be careful and look into the future for…

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James E. McGinley, PhD

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and licensed counselor.