When you feel the “Tea” AND “shade” coming your way…
As a mother, entrepreneur, friend and community activist, I find myself dealing with all kinds of folks from all walks of life on a regular basis. As life would dictate, sometimes we run into people who, for no apparent reason at least to us, that are just hell bent on throwing angst our way. In the black community, we call that throwing “tea” and “shade.”
It takes a serious case of maturity to ignore and not internalize angst being thrown your way, but sometimes, one must take more than a deep breath and count way past ten, so you can see clearly enough to respond. Or not.
I have been challenged by some of the most unlikely people, in some of the most unlikely places but it took my standing fully, all five feet ten inches of grace and determination with no apologies, to make folks understand that I meant business. At that crucial point, I have either been labeled aggressive , a bitch or the best one- intimidating.
So here’s the deal; when you walk fully in authenticity- living a life of purpose that is healing in some way to those around you, no matter what comes your way, do not give up. “Tea”and “shade” have been thrown at anyone who dares to believe in the power of their dreams and are leaders in every sense of the word.
If you remember that a box was designed to contain, you will never stay in any that was designed for you. Here are a few simple things to do when faced with containment;
1). Always affirm what you do by remaining grateful even for the smallest of things.
2). Choose to be happy because nothing lasts forever.
3). If you feel it is needed, simply ask the offender if they need to have a conversation with you as you are picking up “vibes” they may not realize they are emitting with you. Be clear if said conversation happens, to walk away affirming that you were heard and you listened.
4). Learn to “read” why you are being targeted because it is often that you possess something naturally that the other person lacks.
5). Do not carry that angst around like a bag of flour. Leave it right there and walk away after discussing it with someone you trust.
6). Meditate. It will make things come fully into focus and leave you clear not only on your next move but give you peace.
7). Choose kindness and love. Every time. You never know how or where you will cross paths with people again.
A few years ago, some team members and I attended a national conference fully ready to learn from other participants and impart what worked for us in our neck of the woods.
We were all peers and so when asked to give an example of what worked for my group, I stood up and in true diva fashion, regaled the room with an instance that gave me pause, much to the delight of the entire conference. Except these two sisters.
As we all spoke and shared, they rolled their eyes, refused to speak when spoken to except who they deemed important, and was condescending in their comments each time I added something to the process.
I paid them no attention as I was very clear, they were insecure about the perceived power I carried into a room and they looked for ways to negate what came naturally to me.
My team members and others were perturbed, but I reminded them the behavior was a reflection on those women, not me.
I never lost my stride and kept being kind until they realized folks noticed what they were doing.
That was the last time I saw them at that annual conference, and I was later told they had such a hard time working with anyone, it became impossible for them to remain effective.
They threw Tea and I sat comfortably under their Shade sipping grace, good manners and love.
The rest is history.. Watch your behavior; you never know who is picking up and making a note of it, to your own detriment. If you dislike working with others, choose a different path. And learn the lessons that come your way or you will continue to be life’s teacher of what not to do.