The Delightful in Me Expects the Delightful in You
Oh my word… absolutely.
One of my biggest bugaboos is how natural it is for me to be kind and nice and positive to interact with – I love that about myself! – but I do struggle with how it is not always returned. People want that for themselves – our global social media is gagging on that request – but world is not quite ready to “be” this. We want it, we demand it from others, and yet we do not always measure up, but returning the “favour” of a positive interaction. We seem to think that the other person needs to be that first – positive – for us to respond in a positive way.
For as long as I can remember, the direct – and via the grapevine – feedback I have received about this in myself has been a great teacher and guide. I know that probably sounds weird, but I am very aware of when it is easy for me to be delightful, or when it is difficult, and there is certainly a direct correlation between when the positive interactions are easy and natural, and how my businesses propagate. In that regard, it’s very obvious that the money directly follows positive interactions. In fact, I believe it is the number one reason I get referred. This was most apparent with my Homeopathy practice. People did not pass my name along because I cured them. I cured lots of people of lots of scary things. The clients who referred me, were the clients with whom I had a positive engagement. They liked me. It was really clear.
The kicker is that the delightful in me has suddenly started to protest. I am reflexively no longer “delightful without exception.” It’s sort of funny. My secret mantra right now is: the delightful in me expects the delightful in you; this, as opposed to seeing the delightful in you. I always see the positive in someone, but they are not always willing to be or give that, and it’s exhausting. In fact, sometimes the contrast is hurtful. I mean, it is totally natural human behaviour to attack what is NOT what we are, and I notice that as our communication awarenesses are evolving, we are using each other as unconscious mirrors and reflections more readily. By that I mean, we notice what we want to be or have energetically/fundamentally in the other person and instead of taking the short route to that by following the example – choosing to instantly be that example we see in the other person – we egoically cling to whatever causes us to be negative (the other other) and we be that even harder. It’s sort of this unconscious defiant child temper tantrum we all have.
Ha – let’s be clear as I high-mindedly profess to being always delightful, of course I am NOT! But for me “delightful” is both a personal value, and an essential nutrient. Over the years, as I have come to understand my sensitivities, I have needed to learn to notice when I feel full and positive, when I feel empty and drained and negative, when that happens and with whom, and to learn to build appropriate boundaries around that with my own behaviour. In the end, it is not the other person’s responsibility to be delightful first, so that I can be.
It has definitely been a long journey in this regard. Very recently – as in the last 6 weeks of this conscious “journey” to understand this in me – I have come to be hyper-vigilant about my interactions. I started treating it like I would an allergy in myself or a patient. I manually removed the allergy in all the places I could – this means in social interactions where I could instantly shut the delightful tap off. It is harder to control the more intimate interactions, so I started by “controlling” my interactions with “service” people. If the grocery store clerk was rude, I would thank that person because I have good manners (a value I will always consciously uphold), but I would not allow myself to smile. I would not give that person who was rude my positive energy.
Next I added the conscious control of my interactions with painting customers. I practiced what delightful looks like when it is professional. I started by making my text and email interactions professional, and less personal. Ha – ironically the standard emojis on my phone made that pretty simple. I followed what my customers did, and now I have a better understanding of what is acceptable or expected, and especially with regard to keeping it simple, helpful, and friendly, rather than over-excited lapdog – which lately is SO obvious, with the influx of successful results after this many years of hard work! I AM like that dog who bursts into the room with a tennis ball covered in mud sometimes! Definitely.
Anyway, all of this has been going really well. It has been several weeks of conscious interactions on my part, awareness, and in a way teaching myself to suck it up in the moment, rather than being offended or hurt if the other person was not gracious or positive. I still find myself ignoring the other person when they are not “delightful”, and I still find myself suddenly turning my own delightful completely off, but overall, it is flattening out. The big result is that my professional interactions (all of them ha!) are more stable, and I think more reliable for my customers and clients, thus more enjoyable and effective. But most important, I absolutely notice that my energy tanks are consistently full at the end of the day, and I feel more confident in general. I am able to make better decisions with regards to my next business actions also. I feel way more in control.
The result I didn’t expect? I am absolutely certain that people are treating me differently. No joke. I gauge this by the service people I encounter in my day-to-day interactions. I am positive I am getting better service. It feels awesome.
I’m not sure how to sum it all up, to give an explanation of what has happened, but if I lean back and look at the bigger picture, I have stopped feeding my energy into the “disappointment” loop. For weeks now, I have acknowledged ONLY the energy that meets me delightfully, and now that is the primary energy that is being returned. In short, by being conscious of my interactions, I have created my desired reality. I have made that relational value material.