I shared with you a snippet from a podcast regarding emotional contagions and the effect of negative people in your orbit.
If you got to thinking and realized that might be you, this clip might help.
Or if you move through the world feeling you’re less than other people, for any of a variety of reasons, this 13 minutes might change your life. (Feeling “less than” manifests as passive, as defensive, as angry, as perfectionist, as many things…)
While you could watch the whole clip if you have 45 minutes, the piece I’m recommending here starts at 2:10 and goes until 15:00. She starts this clip by talking about weight loss, but that’s not what the clip is about—stick with it.
I was at physical therapy.
There was an older woman finishing up her appointment.
She had one of the standard old white lady perms.
Her hair was dyed purple, fading.
She had on a grey long-sleeved T-shirt with an emerald green short-sleeved T-shirt over it which read BE HAPPY in white letters.
And shiny silver high-top shoes.
(I don’t remember her pants beyond that she was wearing some.)
We exchanged a smile and a hello.
Before she left, she said she had something for me.
She said that “be happy” was her motto and that she liked to give these out, and she handed me a glass stone with a smiley face sticker on it.
As quirky and lovely as she was.
So today, I electronically pass it on to you.
I hope you’re having a good day, and if not, you can find a little something good in it anyway.
From my Facebook archives. I wrote a bunch to go with it, then decided it speaks for itself.
Some students from my school were crossing a 6-lane street. They were half way across, and traffic stopped in order for them to complete their crossing. There were cars in only two of the three lanes. Someone was in a hurry and gunned it in the remaining lane, hitting the youngest of the group just a step or two from the curb. He died earlier this week. I teach two of his siblings.
Please be careful when you are driving. Whatever the hurry was was not more important than this boy’s life. Neither is a text, a phone call, your makeup, or your meal.
So many people discrediting each other based on their age. “You are [young/old] so you don’t know anything” attitude.
Take age out of it. Is the person informed? Experienced in this? Depending on who/what the conversation is about, are they articulate? Do they look at things from multiple vantage points?
People at any age can have a legitimate point. Life isn’t as simple as the media (or your crotchety neighbor/coworker, or your kid) makes it out to be, and the good ol’ days weren’t necessarily better. (Nor were they necessarily worse—depends on who you are and where you’re from.)
Everyone has experiences we can learn from, and I want to hear your tales and your advice… and maybe some of it will resonate and maybe none of it will and it will have been an interesting conversation and that’s all.
In spite of having aged, you might actually know less than someone younger and you might want to also listen and consider their advice. Age is not greater than knowledge. There are 15-year-olds who know more than I do. And they might know more than you, too, depending on what you’re talking about.
Making this a little bit broader…
In several classes and trainings I’ve been to in the last handful of years, I’ve had to take a questionnaire titled, “Can you survive in a different social class?” Someone put it on Survey Monkey; you can see it here. (I don’t know who gets the answers—I share it just so you can look at the questions.)
Unless your experience has been broader than most, there’s plenty you could learn just about societal basics of classes that aren’t yours. Or you could learn about what it’s like to be the opposite sex. Or a different sexual orientation. Or a different race. Or religion. Or mental health status. This list could go on and on because we have such a wide variety of ways we pigeonhole people.
So. Listen and think. Be thoughtful—don’t take something in or reject it without processing it first. There’s so much to learn.
When a sentence has two parts—the first part positive and the second part negative—the conjunction makes a big difference in how the complete sentence is received.
“You played that song really well, but this note should be two beats.”
“You played that song really well, and this note should be two beats.”
“You played that song really well. Next time, play this note two beats.”
Those sentences feel different as the receiver.
“But” in the middle negates the first half of the sentence.
“And” in the middle leaves both parts of the sentence intact.
This trick (that is easy to do
but and hard to remember) improves message reception in nearly any context: work, spouse, kids, friends, teammates.
Of course—there is a boundary on your responsibility for your message being received as intended. And there’s context. Simply using and instead of but doesn’t change those variables.
Someone who is programmed to reject praise and focus on negative isn’t going to hear the goodness up front, regardless what follows. (That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.)
Someone whose work is never good enough or who has been pounded with criticism perhaps should be offered only the compliment, with the second half saved for just before the next attempt. (“Remember when you do this to include xyz detail.”)
And, because I have a child who is That Age, I can’t write a post with that many “but”s in it without thinking “chicken butt!”