This morning that wonderful song rings in my ears. Could we? I am thinking #OtherEsteem Wednesdays on Twitter. 😉 Sure! Why not? So here’s my Wednesday post and I invite you to join me to tweet about valuing others more today! See the past post on the subject or check in on how it’s going at the Stream of Otheresteem!
Dealing with anger is such a difficult thing! Especially when that anger is directed straight at you. So painful is it, that we immediately want to discredit the person in our minds and distance ourselves emotionally from them, making sure that we do not believe what they say about us. Practicing otheresteem becomes so counter-intuitive then! This morning a good friend wrote me a Facebook message asking for help. She said a subordinate at her office went on an anger spree yesterday, telling her a bunch of things and that she was the worst boss in the world, ever! (Trust me, I have seen worse in my day.) Staying on acceptance, appreciation, moving towards understanding becomes such a challenge in case like this. So – deep breath first – I usually go to the 1% rule my mentor Will Schutz taught me:
What is the 1% where I believe this person to be right?
If I can find that, I will know what is getting me defensive. I can move past that, work on it if I want. I can allow myself to listen past the anger. To understand how this person got to this state and how I am involved both in the road there and in the way out. Deep breath again, and I am ready to accept that this person in angry. I can appreciate her being brave enough to tell me, even in the worst of ways. I can be thankful for the nuggets of understanding about myself in relation to her. I can see possibility beyond my defensiveness. I can be grateful for the opportunity this presents.
Can otheresteem be disarming in this case? Yes. I have seen it happen. Can it help me gain further understanding of myself and the other? That, too.
Otheresteem is all about learning how to value others and interact with them in a way that this becomes evident! So why not concentrate on sharing the good times? You know, those times when you are laughing, and enjoying yourself. It may be at work, when things are going smoothly or something suddenly works out. Don’t keep it to yourself! Share the celebration with those people around you that contributed to the outcome or have been suffering the time when you were not enjoying yourself. And how about with your loved ones? Sometimes it gets to the point where they only see the down side of you! Do you go to your friends only when you are in trouble?
You can make it a point to share the good times. To reach out to people when you are in the best of moods. Share a smile. Take a happy stroll with them. Let the happy times make up future memories. Notice when you are having the good times and focus on the sharing part. And make sure you are not attaching specific expectations to your sharing experience. Practice sharing the good just for the heck of it! It shows you enjoy their company enough to want them near you when you are happy. And that’s a powerful way to say: I value you!
I usually don’t attach pictures to these posts, but today as I was writing this, Zemanta showed this one in the Media Gallery as an option to illustrate the post. It’s me on my 40th birthday! I recall having many troubles at the time, yet THAT DAY was a day of sharing joy, eating cake, enjoying the company of people I love! And THAT’s what I am talking about! Good job, Zemanta! Good memories, life!
As some of you will know, this is the title of one of the book chapters, but it struck me as imporant to address again because of a comment I got from one of my contacts this week. She said that she could not have friends at work because it was just too much work. I had been talking about how we spend so much time at the workplace that it is truly a tragedy if we do not have significant relationships there. She even went as far as to tell me that a person had approached her and stated that she was interested in building a friendship with her, beyond the work-related interaction they already have. All she was asking for was time together. Exactly, my contact said, what she did not have to give.
Otheresteem efforts should be a part of the flow of your day, not an extra assignment. If you are living in a way that does not allow you to build meaningful relationships in your everyday environment, I believe you need to question the way you are living. Does this satisfy you? How can you build otheresteem every day? Does it really take time away from other activities to express appreciation, to be thankful for what you do together, to stay mindful of your reactions to others? Is it so time-consuming to accept others or expect the best from them? It seems to me that if you cannot find time for that, you are in a terrible hurry, with nowhere to go. What do you think?