Wednesday, October 3, 2012

day 3: take notice

I'm a very important person.

On any given day, my mind is madly overflowing with an obscene number of pressing issues.  Important people are reduced to simple items on a list waiting to be checked off, special events are resented as duties, and gift cards are unapologetically given for lack of a more thoughtful gift.

There is just so much to do.

I know I'm not alone in this.  On the rare occasion that I've managed to step outside of my own Very Important Pressing Issues while out and about, it's clear by the apparent grimaces {no, not the purple guy from McDonald's} on peoples' faces that they are also feverishly consumed by their own VIPIs.

And so my first mission in becoming a sweeter me took shape.

It has become clear to me that I cannot possibly be sweet to anyone if I am unable to get outside of my head.  Since we're taking baby steps here, I began my journey last week with some good 'ol people watching.  With the help of the phenomenal little book You Say More Than You Think,  my goal was to simply make observations, without attaching judgment, of the people I encounter on a daily basis.

Can we say mild anxiety attack?

The truth is, it's been a long time since I really paid attention to what and how people communicate.  I get so focused on how I can use the information that a person is giving or how I can give my personal expertise as a response that I find myself only listening to the facts not the person, or worse, simply biding my time until my turn to talk comes back around.  {I really do have great stories to tell!}  When I opened my eyes,  took off my me-me-me goggles, and got over the overwhelming amount of information that people share without speaking, I realized how small my world actually is.

Then, almost in the blink of an eye, it occurred to me that, for some of the people I had been observing all week: my students, co-workers, friends, family, and potential suitors {he stepped back on stage, hurray!}, I am part of their stories and the way I hold myself and speak to them is intertwined into theirs.  It is truly a humbling notion.

It's no longer quite so overwhelming to take notice of the people who I encounter in my daily life and it is refreshing to be able to almost automatically remember that I don't already know what is going on in a person's mind based solely on what he is saying or doing.

Being sweet means recognizing that other people's stories and experiences are just as important as mine; I can't possibly expect another person to take notice of me if I can't get out of my head and notice how important they are also.

1 comment:

  1. It is really so hard sometimes to recognize our impact on other people's lives - especially the people we work with and teach. Thanks for the reminder to refocus on this and how I speak to, react to, interact with people in my life. Even on days when I have a big list in my head or am having a not so great day.