Thursday, April 18, 2013
SPREAD A LITTLE KINDNESS
Today's post is going to be slightly more personal than usual and definitely more rant-like. I just had a very unpleasant phone conversation with someone I was hoping to interview and it left me feeling quite upset. Basically, the man I spoke with was very unhelpful and short with me, and made me feel like a big dink for having *disturbed* him with my phone call.
People are rude to me all the time, and I'm sure that most people are rude/have to deal with rudeness on a daily basis, whether it be at work or at school or even among friends and family. I realized how sad it is, though, that I'm actually so shocked when someone is genuinely nice to me. It's as if friendliness and politeness are so rare that they feel like a gift that I'm not deserving of, if that makes any sense.
Traveling this winter helped to put a lot of things in perspective for me. Some people were rude to us, sure, but I was blown away by how genuinely caring people were to me, a stranger. People opened their homes to me, cooked for me, and went out of their way to make me feel comfortable - and they didn't know me at all! Their actions are more than I can say for some people, including some of my friends.
So traveling helped me realize that there are some genuinely nice people in the world, but that doesn't change the fact that a lot of people are serious d-bags. Sometimes life sucks, for whatever personal reasons, and people are lonely, and dealing with their own problems and trying to solve them. Nobody needs to have a big dose of mean piled onto all of that.
If you're a person who is being rude, maybe you need to think about why it is you are being impatient with people or purposefully mean. Does acting that way make you feel good about yourself, or bad? I know that I went through a period where I was short with everyone around me, and I was really unpleasant to be around. But looking back now, the reasons are obvious. I was in a bad situation and my life was consumed by it - any other interactions were simply over what I could process and I immediately resorted to impatience because I just couldn't deal. But that was a huge sign, that I didn't see at the time but that I am able to realize now. If something in your life is making you feel so negatively that you are taking it out on other people - GET RID OF IT. Whether it is your job, or that you're studying something you don't like, or whether your friends or significant other are the problem (as they were in my case) - just purge the negativity from your life. You will feel significantly better because whatever was bothering you won't be bothering you anymore, and because you will have the capacity to genuinely interact with other people in a positive way.
If someone is being rude to you - GET RID OF THEM. You don't need someone who is going to treat you like dump. If someone is going to put you down, they obviously don't care about you, no matter what they might say. If a stranger is mean to you, don't let it get to you. Today, I wanted to tell the man I spoke to that he was a real so-and-so, but I thanked him for his 10 seconds of time and hung up the phone and carried on with my day. He could benefit from evaluating what is making him so grumpy, but in the mean time, I'm not going to let his problems influence how I'm feeling about myself today.
"You attract what you put out there" is such a spot-on quote and this photo has been the background on my laptop for a while. It is so incredibly true. If you're going to be rude to people, you're inviting people to be rude to you in return. If you think very little of yourself, you are inviting someone into your life who will probably treat you like you are worth very little. If you walk down the street with a smile, maybe someone will smile back at you. Maybe you'll make someone's day. Or maybe you'll make people wonder what has you so happy, and make them think about their own life. You may as well be positive and hope it rubs off on someone else. You might even meet someone who falls in love with you because of that genuine smile, but I can almost guarantee that you're not going to meet the love of your life if you're frowning up the place. If you don't meet the love of your life, at least you'll be treating yourself well and making yourself happy in the process.
I guess my point is this: it's normal to feel down sometimes, and it is normal to be a grouch sometimes if something is bothering you. But you just never know what your actions will cause another person to feel or do, so be kind. Don't be unnecessarily rude and don't take other people for granted. Get rid of the people that bring you down (don't literally "get rid" of them but don't make them your priority) and focus on the people who treat you with understanding, respect, and compassion. If your actions don't rub off on someone else, at least you'll be living a life of positivity and that is the best thing you can do for for yourself.