It was late Thursday afternoon.  I was preparing for a weekend getaway. An independent instructor working at my studio called to tell me the next day would be her last.  A little surprised, but somewhat relieved, I graciously thanked her for her work at my studio.  I appreciated the service she provided for my clients.  She was my receptionist the previous year, and I saw her potential as a Pilates instructor and put her through our program. She was one of several local instructors who received their training at my studio.   

Monday morning, I phoned clients who trained with her to inform them of the news and assign them another instructor. The replies stunned me!  One by one, they told me the instructor notified them three weeks earlier that she was leaving to work at another studio … the studio of four instructors who worked with me and for me, all of whom received their training at my studio … the four women who signed a non-compete agreement and then opened up a place just blocks away.  

Situations in life don’t always make sense.  Things people do can often be hurtful, confusing and painful. If allowed to fester, the situations we experience can drain our energy and have a negative impact on our health. How do you respond when treated unfairly?

It was one of the most difficult weeks of my life … and my first thoughts were not pleasant.  Anger seemed to permeate every muscle in my body when I discovered the financial loss this one woman caused me, and for no apparent reason other than her own selfishness. In order to keep moving forward, I had to apply some hard lessons.  

Whether you are the mistreated or the one mistreating another, here are a few tips to consider that will keep you healthy and happy:

• Get the facts straight. It’s easy to look at someone and make quick judgments without the facts.  It’s the “jumping” exercise … jumping to conclusions.  

• Boundaries. This is a tough one for me, but I’m learning. Set boundaries by communicating expectations to others upfront. I like to be liked, which often results in being taken advantage of. However, resentment can easily grow, so it’s best to be yourself, and let others know where you draw the line.

• Extend Grace to others. Grace is giving something to someone who hasn’t earned it.  They don’t have to. Just cut them some slack as you would want others to cut you some slack.

• Communicate. Sweeping issues under the rug never does any good. If put off, this is where problems will grow and fester. The little thing is now a big huge ugly monster.   Confrontation is difficult but should be done in a loving manner.

• Emotions. Don’t speak out of emotion. Sleep on it for a day. Calm yourself down with a brisk walk or workout. You don’t want to say or do something you regret. It generally ends up hurting someone.

• Responsibility. Take responsibility for your own attitudes and actions. We cannot control what other people do, but we can control ourselves.  We can rest knowing we are doing the right thing.

© Copyright 2008 Pamela Smith-Vos. Pam Vos, Wellness Coach, owner of Forever Fit! The No. 1 Pilates Studio in Ventura County. 805-382-4444. Pam coaches individuals and has developed a 12-week program entitled “Forever Fit Living,” which she teaches for small groups and corporations. E-mail  pam@foreverfitliving.com with questions and comments.