Innocent Bystander: Someone’s Outburst Is Not About You

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Innocent Bystander - Dre BaldwinMost of the emotional outbursts people have — cursing you out in traffic, some disproportionate reaction to a seemingly small thing — have nothing to do with you.

Emotional reactions like that are deep-seated energies that take time to marinate within people. By the time the lava has bubbled over and the volcano erupts, you should consider yourself nothing more than unlucky to be the innocent bystander who happened to be there at the moment.

I have a friend who told me about some drunk guy that was sitting in her passenger seat, and vomited all over the console of her vehicle. Even I, once in college, barfed all over the back seat of a teammate’s car after basketball practice. It’s fucked up that those cars would smell like vomit for the next 4 months, but neither I nor that drunk guy planned to throw up in those cars. It just so happened that we were in cars when the shit bubbled over. It’s the same with volatile people and their uncontrolled emotions.

This is not to say that you just let any type of reckless behavior directed at you go unchecked — we all have our principles and points at which we draw the line. It means that you should not take it personally, even if you choose to respond. Just like a boxer wants to knock his opponent out, he won’t try to fight the guy if he saw him in the supermarket the following week. It’s all part of the game.

People aren’t going to be shit but who they are. Understand that it’s not about you. Sometimes you’re just a witness.


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