When people are rude or hostile toward you, do you retreat or do you run? I was taught the difference at a time when someone was being mean to me and I felt angry. Anger makes you weak and gives the power to the other person. Instead, learn how to retreat.
Run – Don’t run away. When you run, you try to save yourself no matter what.
Retreat – is a sign of strength. You do it before it’s too late, and while you are still in possession of power and position.
Reserve – The right way to retreat is not with anger, but with dignified reserve.
I started out as a normal person with a normal job who wanted to be of service. At age 26, I began work on a voter registration drive in California. Participation exploded quickly. I suddenly found myself supervising over 500 people. The work was worthwhile but the people were challenging. It was hard. People can be cruel. They criticized me. Gossiped about me. Some were actually hostile.
I spent many sleepless nights worrying and wondering, “Why is this so difficult?”
On one particularly bad day, I was exhausted. The situation had become too grim. I began to question my purpose in life. Could I make an impact? I had lost my will to continue, when a mentor saw my distress and intervened with this wonderful warning: “You’ve come a long way. Don’t give up now.”
She explained, “With so much coming at you, many people in your position would run away. Before you quit, consider this: How you embrace power, reveals everything. Are you strong enough to hold the power you are given?”