Categories: Gettin The Mind Right

On Looking Inward & Compensation

Happy Monday!

This past Friday night, I called up a restaurant to place an order for pick up. It was extremely loud, the host (or whoever took my call) could not hear me, was very rude and just hung up. I figured we must have got disconnected so I called again, but got no answer. I concluded they were extremely busy—too busy for our order—so I called another place.


This time, the guy could hear me but was very short and rushing me through the order. Then just before we finalized everything, the call was disconnected. Did he hang up on me? Did I lose service? My service is good, so I waited a few minutes. He didn’t call back which was weird because there’s no way he could have put in my order without the rest of the info. So now I’m annoyed. I called back. He answered right away, and I aggressively asked, “Did you hang up on me?!”  To which he defensively replied, “No!” and said he was just going to call me back.


After we finished our call, I was pissed. First I thought, “Man it must be nice to not need customers with the way these places handle takeout!” Then I got fired up for being treated rudely.


While driving to pick up the order, I had time to think. Having grown up in the restaurant industry, I know firsthand how stressful it can get on a Friday night. My dad owned a restaurant Golden Pizza in East Hartford for over 30 years and my brother has owned restaurant Buona Vita in Enfield for over 20 years. Having worked in that environment, I know how crazy it can get.


As I was letting go of my anger, I started questioning, ‘Why did I let these people get me fired up? Clearly they weren’t personal attacks.’ And suddenly it became as clear as day why, since I was a teenager, I have been extremely sensitive to anyone who I thought was treating me rudely. I realized that on a deep subconscious level, I was protecting the little boy who was bullied; who had been treated like dirt at times by an insecure, bigger kid.


Do You Compensate?

A fascinating thing about the human brain is that it will automatically compensate for something it perceives as weak. For instance, if you have a bad ankle, your brain instructs your knee and/or hip to compensate. But if the root cause of the ‘weakness’ is not carefully examined and addressed, that compensation creates a bigger issue elsewhere. With the ankle example, it’s highly likely that your hip/knee on the other side will become a big issue which could impact your gait and your posture and before long you are wondering why you have lower back pain.


Not dealing with my wounded inner child has left scars that sometimes make me subconsciously react in a way of which I’m not proud. That little boy couldn’t defend himself; subsequently, the adult version of me gets riled and angry at anything that feels like a personal attack. It’s how I compensate for that little boy’s treatment.


I challenge you to look at any of your troublesome patterns of behaviors (we all have them) and ask yourself:


  • Where did this reaction come from?
  • Why do I continually react this way, even though I know I shouldn’t?
  • Is this reaction a way to compensate, and is that hurting me elsewhere?


It’s incredible the impact our past has on our present–but we don’t have to let it dictate our future. WE get to decide how we will act. But it’s not like a light switch we can turn off/on…so many of our inner demons are hard-wired into our being. Just because you have become aware of your issues does not mean they now will simply ‘go away’. But all change starts with awareness and it’s like everything else, the more you work at it, the better it gets.






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