After an interesting interaction in town today, I was reminded of a farce-like experience I had while waiting for my flight home to London from Copenhagen last year. Our late evening flight was delayed, and most passengers were waiting patiently or impatiently in the gate area for the next announcement and confirmation of when our flight would finally arrive.
It started with a nondescript elderly couple arriving at the check in desk. I was fairly ‘engrossed’ in yesterday’s copy of the Daily Mail when the change in atmosphere in the room my attention. The first thing that struck me was a nasal, winy male voice talking loudly, demanding the flight leave immediately, and then self-righteously talking down to his wife and berating her for the choice of flights.
Once checked in and seated, the elderly man, who I immediately labelled Mr. Patronising, kept up constant stream of useless conversation, including ordering his wife to give him this, and that, and then another thing. Unfortunately, the man possessed a very carrying voice which meant the whole gate area was entertained (not!) by his titbits of utterly stupid remarks.
I really felt for his wife tolerating this man every day, obviously for years. Sadly (for all of us gate area captives), she was a timid mouse of a woman, who pandered to his ‘patronising’ nature eagerly. She almost greeted every one of his statements with a matching doormat statement of her own whilst the rest of us either resorted to eye rolling, sighing irritatedly and shaking their heads, or just retreated quickly into their ipod or smartphone ear phones – if they were fortunate to brought one.
I had never experienced so many increasingly exasperated people in one space together. It was fascinating to watch that the more irritated and exasperated everyone around Mr. Patronising got, the more he continued his stream of patronisation. The more this happened the more people who had not been so prepared as to bring mp3-players with headsets shot envious looks at those who had brought theirs. Some people even got up and tried to leave the gate area – a futile attempt as the attendants were not that sympathetic to the – I assume – spurious reasons people tried to come up with.
What we were all doing was feeding his negative energy – and energised that man got! Instead of him running out of comments or even breath, he increased his volume, frequency, and emphasis – like a seasoned actor playing up to an appreciative audience.
It was a great learning experience. As a front row observer experiencing how energies feed each other, and escalate easily, even with something as immaterial as Mr. Patronising’s attitude. He, in fact, was a magnificent influencer – just not in a positive way.
Having studied and worked with energy for years, I took the opportunity to practice some of the amazing techniques I learnt over the years – the inner smile (a very effective and positive Qi Gong technique), grounding and clearing with magnets (beautiful Energetic NLP techniques) and simply breathing in peace and breathing out irritation (an Eastern meditative technique).
Whilst happily engaged in my techniques, Mr Patronising’s voice seemed to dim and almost disappear, and it felt as if his energy field became less dominant. Whilst I had prayed before that the couple would sit as far away from me as possible on the plane, it now became irrelevant, as if I had entered a different reality.
When the boarding call came, I felt calm, relaxed and had a smile on my face. Although Mr. Patronising had rushed to the front of the queue, he found himself right before me. I was completely stunned when he stepped back and gestured me to pass before him. His wife had her mouth open as he drew her back to make space for me.
This was a big lesson for me that choosing to be in a different state or energy makes a huge difference.
Not only did I avoid prolonged irritation, which reduces immune system function for 5 hours after the event, I also felt great and neutralised Mr. Patronising’s reaction towards me and mine to him.
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 Source: Heartmath institute