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It is tricky when you share good news and someone else is stuck in a funk. I’d say curiosity usually wins out, but they might feel like they don’t have much going on and to start poking around may only serve to exacerbate the situation. Unless you can seek to make it more future focused… what’s coming up for you? What’s on the agenda? What are looking forward to? What is puzzling you at the moment?
And don’t try to fix it without asking. Offer help and expect it to be rejected so they don’t feel obligated to save your feelings.
The other flip side is, you can’t be responsible for their feelings either. Or get sucked into the drama triangle with a “victim” and slip into “rescue” mode. Especially when you are not causing harm or being hurtful. There has been caution around some of that during Covid. Some networking groups have said in the past they would big up their success and hide the failures. Now it’s almost like you don’t feel right sharing your success during these times when so many others are struggling. Some are dumbing down their success for fear of making someone else feel inadequate or a failure.
So, I suppose my question is, why does this situation trigger you? What’s more uncomfortable for you? Their discomfort because of inadequacy, or your discomfort because of success? How might you be feeling bad or guilty that you have grown, and they have been left behind?
Just as you are telling yourself a story about how you’ve embraced change; how might they be telling themselves a story about why they didn’t? Might they be feeling sad for missing out all this time? Might the situation be more overwhelming for them, than it is for you? Might they be entering the conscious incompetence phase – remember how that made you feel? And now it’s your turn to guide them through to competence – if they will let you.
Because it’s important to ask them if they want your help. They need to be enrolled in their own development and for their own value. Not as a way to level up to you, through fear of comparison. It’s much better they are enrolled into raising their own bar and stretching their abilities. When it becomes less about winning the race, and more about the personal bests.
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