Little Miss Manners
What great timing for this! I am doing something similar. I literally have zero tolerance for negative or mean in the last few months. I have always been that way and I used to try so hard to bring those people up meanwhile dragging myself down. I’ve noticed a massive change in me lately and it feels phenomenal. I don’t know if it’s confidence or just that I am working my butt off to be where I am (which is in a state of happiness all the time) and I have no energy left for the negative….like I mean zero. It doesn’t effect me like it used to. It’s like a brick wall goes up when one has a bad attitude around me. The best thing that I’ve noticed which is similar to what you said Adrienne is that that brick wall goes up, I walk away from it, I turn around and most are following. Instead of being angry they are wanting to be pulled up to that state of happiness where I am at. It is so cool. I used to be so scared of hurting one’s feelings now I find I am just showing them the way. Great post at a great time! Thank you. By the way…I’m borrowing your mantra.
This is great insight. For me, one of the key highlights for me was the idea that manners can prevail, even in the face of rudeness or a lack of kindness. That being over the top on the kindness scale in response to an absolute dud is not good for energy levels and honestly can even be a bit passive aggressive in some odd way. I do try to be kind and show manners and not expect a response and I find that manages the expectations for me as well. I do it because it’s the right thing to do, the kind thing to do, whatever their response.
I do get irritated when people don’t return kindness, or don’t wave in traffic to say thank you and all the innumerable ways that people disappoint. Instead of that, I can just employ manners and nothing more, and save the extra smiles for a different interaction.
Funny story though, one day as I was leaving the gym, the person in front of me held the door for me as she walked through – the kind where you hold it a little longer, but you don’t stop. We were right behind each other so it made sense (though plenty of people do not do this, let me assure you). Just as I was walking through, the service rep at the gym counter said something to me and I responded and then it was goodbyes and such. Next thing, we’re on the escalator and the woman now turns to me a few steps ahead and comments about how I said goodbye to the rep, but I didn’t say thank you to her for holding the door. I was shocked and confused; she was quite miserable. Instead of just trying to avoid it, I said to her – I was distracted by the staff member as I walked through and didn’t say thank you for that reason. And maybe something else, I can’t recall, it was a while ago. But honestly, I couldn’t get over how she was calling me out for an innocent mistake. And you know it’s always the way – the ONE time you don’t say thank you is the time some angry woman decides you’re the worst. That was my cue to not be mad at people when they don’t show manners (or kindness), since the anger would stay with me as it did with her.
This is great Lia. Isn’t that just murphy’s law? Like seriously….that does happen to me too. That one time I just can’t let you jump in front of me in the grocery line up and now you think I’m the negative one. The trick is that now I don’t really care. I know I’m a good person and I know in general I let people go ahead if needed. I am kind and I really don’t care what anyone thinks. You are right though it does make me think about being more forgiving the next time I allow someone to pull out in front of me as apposed to me wanting to rear end them, swear and holler when they don’t wave afterwards. Thank you.
One more thing….I kind of like that that woman had the guts to call you out. We all need to do more of this when angry I believe instead of holding it in. It gave her a chance to explain that she felt less worthy than the person at the desk (which likely had nothing to do with you) and it gave you a chance to explain why you did what you did. I have been calling people out lately on their garbage calmly and assertively. Stating how it’s made me feel. Usually though they just walk away with nothing to say as they are in the wrong but you had an answer. It was easy for you to just state that you weren’t being a jerk you just were preoccupied. I think that’s great!
So…. I wouldn’t put this on the blog, but it’s fun to share here…
I’ve been doing bad things.
What you gots here is a recipe for bad things heh heh. Goes like this:
I am ridiculously sensitive, as we all know. It’s my achilles heel. The absolute worst, as in eeeveel, energy I feel from people is when they think one thing and say the opposite. That cuts me SO deeply. Rattles everything, right down to my faith in the Universe, my core. I learned how to push this in the other direction, purely by accident.
Last year, my brother and I went to Hillside Inside. It’s the winter version of a very “peace, love, and Hari Krishna”, grassroots, indie, folk, and new age “hippy high mindedness” folk festival that we attend every summer. The music is incredible, there is literally zero garbage anywhere (like not even a cigarette butt), the food is all organic, water truck, great beer, but almost no drunkeness, mantra is “Happy Hillside”. .. That one. I’ve talked about it lots here. It’s a singular event.
The winter event is similar, but it is held in several venues in Guelph, rather than an island with a bunch of stages, and there is zero nakedness ha. It’s too damn cold. So we drive up there. We park in a 3 story car park. We walk in the minus kagillian to this beautiful church, and my ticket has fallen out of my pocket somewhere along the 10 blocks we walked to get there. I send my brother in to the concert (first musician up was Basia Bulat, his all time fave!) and I retrace my steps. Three times. No ticket. Text messages back and forth with my brother. He says get to my ticketmaster account and show the people at the door I have paid. They can scan it somehow.
It takes me another 15 minutes to pull the ticket out of the ether and onto my phone. The cell service was terrible and I have zero idea how to copy and paste the password, can’t complete the task. I go back to the entrance, tell one of the volunteers my problem, and this genius millenial with burgandy hair and a Basia concert T, teaches me how to copy and paste, escorts me to the front of the line, flashes my phone, tells the ticket-taker what’s going on, and that I am just to go on in. I am grateful all over the place. Huge thank yous and a big hug for each of them. We are loud and obvious. Laughing and Happy Hillsiding all over the foyer. I even got cheers!
So, I am smiling and laughing and huge. The next face I meet is attached to a hands that grab me and thrust a program into my face.
“Would you like a program?!” She beams.
“Ooooh yes!” I beamed back.
We are laughing, and smiling, and exchanging all that positive amazingness, and she is fumbling a little separate one program from the stack. It is a huge moment of awesome, and in that split second of pause, or hitch, or hiccup, a snivelly little voice comes from the other program-giver standing 3 feet away.
“You mean, ‘yes, please’, don’t you?” She takes a step closer to us, clearly ready to school me for my transgression.
Something in me clicked on, or woke up, or something. I immediately ignored her on the outside, but on the inside I felt something close to shaming her. I felt my heart shame her. I can’t explain that any other way. SHE was so rude and so out of line, interrupting with her much smaller judgement of the interaction her colleague and I were having. I also felt (at her) with my body that if she said it to me again, I would put her through the wall. It was very intense, and I felt it coming out of me, from my heart, directly at her. She literally withered and shrunk away, leaned against the wall, put her stack of programs in front of her, and lowered her head.
It was profound. I am certain she did not understand that I had heard what she said. On the outside, she was not heard.
What was most profound, however, was that I never broke contact with the woman I was sharing the “positive program” with. We stayed in our moment – ha, really she jumped in to share MY moment of awesome, now that I look back at this. She actually grabbed me and pulled me to her. We continued to smile and laugh as she fumbled for the program, and when she finally handed it to me, I felt all that happiness beam straight out of my heart to her and I just said “Thank you! This is awesome!”
Without skipping a beat, she said: “You’re welcome! Have a fabulous time!”
And honestly, when I looked back a few steps later, she was still smiling after me, so we waved again. The other program-giver (what the heck is that person called, I mean seriously) was still awkward and squirming.
That’s my story of me-manners gone mad. I did not actually say “please” because I was so happy I couldn’t get it out. And besides, the moment was already between us, and it wasn’t necessary. When the second woman cut in, her energy was so incredibly the opposite – ingratitude for and judgement of the exchanged happiness she was witnessing I think – I just reflexively annihilated her and the negative energy she rode in on. It was quite clear.
So, in conclusion… and if I flip this around from the other angle where no one is pushed up against the wall of shame by an energy bully (although it does feel delicious), there is no need for us to accept any judgement of our behaviour. I know you all, and I know me. I know how you operate, and the world is sincerely grateful for your example.
There is a time to bend, and there is a time to not accept projections. Dare I say there is a time to clearly disallow them. You can do this with your thoughts and energy, pushing that clarity of grace outwards. What they do with that is their choice, and your inner peace will be preserved. I know mine was ignited by the experience of my own happy and grateful and gracious expression when the purity of that slammed up against the “other”.