Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I like people.
This morning, RJ (and to be clear to those who don't know me in real life, RJ is one of my bffs, He is NOT my boyfriend, lover, child, or brother....although sometimes I do feel like he is my bastard child) said "I like people." I thought about it for a minute, and said, "That's it!"
It was actually quite an illuminating statement. How much easier would your life be if you decided to have that attitude? I can't count the number of times my friends or myself have uttered the statement- "I hate people." What a counter-intuitive way to approach the world. Are we really going to get very far with that sort of outlook? Now, I know there are annoying people out there. There are people that do awful things. But, in general, I think that people are innately good. They may be ignorant, but inside most people are good. I, for one, am going to be conscious of not letting myself slip into the "I hate people" mantra.
I firmly believe that when I am in the attitude of liking people, not only will I have a better time, brushing off the bad apples, but the path to the things I want is so much clearer and smoother.
As a counter point to the "I like people" morning, I observed a whole different sort of attitude this afternoon at my nail place. I have had a terrible headache, maybe migraine- jury is still out on that, all day, so I decided to treat myself to a pedicure. The nail place was pretty empty, only 2 other customers. We will call them Woman #1 and Woman #2.
Woman #1 was reading a magazine while her nails dried and Woman #2 got a phone call during her manicure. Because it was so empty, I overheard part of her conversation. She was talking someone through something, saying things like "It's really going to be okay, no matter what the outcome. You have to just put this morning behind you. Go take a walk and come back for the afternoon and do your best." I was not really paying attention, until Woman #1 suddenly turned and yelled "YOU ARE REALLY DISTURBING ME! I DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOUR CONVERSATION! PLEASE STOP TALKING ON THE PHONE!"
The woman on the phone, Woman #2, just looked at her and quietly finished up her conversation. When she was done, she turned to Woman #1 and said, "Excuse me, was I disturbing you? I'm so sorry. Woman #1 snapped back, "YES, I WAS VERY DISTURBED. I CAN'T STAND PEOPLE TALKING ON CELL PHONES. I DONT WANT TO HEAR YOUR CONVERSATION....BLAH BLAH BLAH."
Woman #2 interrupted her tirade, "Well, listen maybe you should think before you speak. My husband died 2 weeks ago, and our daughter is in the middle of taking the Bar exam. She's having a very difficult time with both her father's death and the bar. So maybe you should just get over yourself!!!"
Woman #1 was stunned into silence and left in a huff. After she left, the ladies who own/run the salon told me that she is always bitchy and looking for a fight. I told Woman #2 that she was not being obnoxious on her phone call and that other woman clearly was a miserable person. She was very grateful for the kind words and expressed what a hard time she is having holding it all together right now.
I would venture to guess that the bitchy woman doesn't stop to think about what other people might be going through. I would venture to guess that she does not live by an "I like people" mantra. Anyone who heard the phone call would know there was some sort of distressing situation going on, even without being privy to the backstory. Maybe she has her own trauma going on or maybe she is just not very nice.
The whole point of this rambling post is that I was reminded of something very important today- first by RJ and then by the nail salon incident. I like people. And liking people makes my life a whole lot easier. No matter what negativity I come across in my day, my attitude completely shapes how it affects me. My attitude can perpetuate more negativity to more people or it can diffuse it. I don't want to be the asshole yelling at a stranger. I am grateful that I know who I don't want to be.