Most of us are not really paying attention all the time to our behavior and how it may impact others. If you really want a good idea of what kind of person you are just ask the people who are around you every single day. I am primarily speaking about those in the workplace, however, it does apply to your every day life. We oftentimes think that we are acting in the best interest of others or we just are not self aware. In certain situations, I know that personally I could be assertive, underassertive or generally in between both. It is great to have conversations about how people perceive you because they may have it all wrong based on preconceived notions. Moreover, you may have it wrong because you could care less about how people see you.
I am definitely not saying to rule your life based on others opinions but sometimes there are those who take you for granted because they believe you are something you are not. I have become more self aware just by the nature of my business. I have been called testy and have been told that "I stormed off". The next time, it is production day, I will have a better response. Instead of saying, "I am really busy right now", I am going to say, "I have a few moments, however, it is my deadline day and I have to finish the newspaper."
There will be some people who will be more revealing than others. While confronting be polite and do not tell "white lies" because that is what you think the person wants to hear.
Sometimes you will ask people for the truth about issues and they will constantly dance around it or just ignore that you asked the question. Interestingly enough, a lot of ambiguous statements are followed up with flattering statements so that people can continue "the white lie". It is so refreshing when someone just admits to wrongdoing, making an error or being late for no apparent reason. We regularly feel the need to feel that we can be everything for everyone we come into contact with and we cannot.
I have found there are several things that I can do in order to maintain a good blood pressure and less stress. I also have to continually maintain that I do not have the right to let my relationship or a previous event impact the person who I am going to see or talk to. We have to be aware that a lot of people bring their problems to work. It is a part of life. I have found that people with a multitude of problems just do not have the support system (friends and family) or they are truly not supporting themselves.
1. Be on time or early. No matter how painful it is to not be able to find something in the morning before you leave, let it go unless it is your keys.
2. Before you sleep, make sure your keys are in their designated place. It could be a bowl, dresser, clipped to a hook or someplace safe. There is also a new gadget called the tile. The tile will allow you to use your phone to find whatever is missing. Log on to www.thetileapp.com.
3. Compliment people. People need affirmation that the day is starting off well. It would not be so terrible to say hello and smile at people in the morning. I always compliment clothing. It is always a pleasure when I am at Speedway talking to someone about their vintage scarf that was given to them by someone special or the man who had beautiful custom shoes who told me they were so comfortable that he purchased 5 pairs.
4. Buy gift cards. I must admit, I am totally about gift cards especially for people who do a lot of driving, students, new parents, new marriages or online shopping so that I do not have to use my credit card. I enjoy the points I earn at Speedway and Kroger for just purchasing them. It is also a great way to teach young people how to handle and become familiar with credit cards with a limit.
5. Most importantly, do not let people abuse you verbally. Friends are not going to make you feel inadequate, family is supposed to be supportive. I know that some people believe that family is everything and blood is thicker than water. However, we have some strange sayings anyway. The "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" does not apply to the person who has a parent who is addicted, imprisoned or generally without ethics who is educated, succeeding or doing well. I guess we have to "weed through" all of the idioms and sayings because we all have to be right about something. For everything that "is", there is something that "is not".
Please understand that self love is your first priority. Without you many things would cease to exist. Without taking a good look at yourself or trying to learn about yourself, you really cannot grow. Remember what you say to a person cannot be taken back so easily. Accept the opportunity to talk about it respectfully. Talking does not always solve the issue either, so you have to choose whether you can deal with the same issues or make a clean break. Well maybe not always so clean, however, you can find new things that you willingly accept and remember what was great about what you left behind. Spring is a time for growth for nature. It should also be a time for growth for yourself and the people around you. It is all right to shed the things that prohibit peace.
This column was printed in the May 17, 2015 - May 30, 2015 edition