There are some cases when, if you don’t know what to say the best thing to say is nothing at all. But that doesn’t apply to every situation.
In fact, in some scenarios saying nothing is one of the worst things that you can do.
Sometimes we hold off from speaking up because we think that less than perfect is not good enough. However, the perfect composition of words shouldn’t always be the aim.
At times it’s better to speak up in the moment, to perhaps let someone know that you care instead of staying quiet. The alternative is to wait until what you have to say is closer to perfect but by then it will be too late.
I wrote about boundaries in a recent post but upon reflection I had more to add.
Sometimes even when you are aware of a persons boundaries and you know it has nothing to do with you, you still try to overstep the mark. A person will do it in small or subtle ways because they are curious whilst also being aware they have to tread carefully.
But when you catch them overstepping in the moment they’re likely to respond by telling you that they didn’t mean it or that they didn’t relaise that it was an issue. perhaps they try to tell you that there is no issue at all.
When it comes to over stepping a boundary it’s really about respect. When you can see a clear boundary you have to decide if it is more important to follow that curiosity or to simply respect what the other person does and doesn’t want
A bunch of things to do for those that are stuck inside for a little while:
- Declutter your closet
- Tidy an area of your home that you’ve been putting off
- Finish the book you’re currently reading
- Start a new book
- Phone a friend
- Have a group video call
- Watch a new series
- Work through your ‘movies to watch’ list
- Re-watch an old series
- Start a blog
- Write a short story
- Do yoga
- Write poetry
- Write a bucket list
- Write in your journal
- Listen to sound bowls
- Drink tea
- Make a playlist
- Dance to your favourite song
- Laugh (it boosts your immune system)
- Have a bath with essential oils
Lastly, and I suppose most importantly, take care of yourself and those around you.
So often, we’re afraid to be vulnerable and let people know where we’re at. In doing that you miss out on the opportunity to be supported by people that care.
What often ends up happening is you feel frustrated that there is no one to support you, not realising that you haven’t even given them a chance.
The best way to break this habit is to be more open when talking to the people that you know you can trust. Instead of having those Hey, how’s it going? Yeah, good thanks, you? types of conversations make the effort to be a little more vulnerable.
It might feel strange at first but when you talk to the right people they’ll listen to you and show support which is sometimes all you need. Your act of bravery might have a knock on effect because often you find that the other person will start to open up more too.
A group of people died at the weekend and somehow social media became a sort of Chinese whispers where people were spreading false news.
And so it got me wondering who makes the news and how could they get things so wrong.
I think in these times where fast isn’t quick enough, people put being the first (or one of the first) to break a story over getting all the facts. One broadcasting company even showed a video of the wrong person, who was in fact still alive and not involved in the accident whatsoever.
Or maybe it’s us, reading the headlines and filling in the blanks because that’s easier and sometimes more interesting than the truth. But filling in the blanks and spreading fake news isn’t useful.
Spreading fake news reduces the integrity of journalism and in times of tragedy can cause unnecessary hurt and confusion.
So to the people that make the news and the ones that spread it, think more and handle it with care.
You have the choice to treat people however you like and sometimes that will depend on how much you care.
Small acts of kindness can allow you to escape your own mind for long enough to remember that we’ve all got stuff going on.
Without knowing it, sometimes the kindness of strangers can be enough to change someone’s mood or brighten their day.
It doesn’t have to be something big, it could be as small as making someone a drink or picking something up that you thought they’d like when you’re out shopping.
In order to do those things you have to get out of your head a little and pay attention to what’s around you. In some ways kindness is about not being bare minimum.
You do it because you want to, not because you have to.
It’s easy to find yourself stuck between helping someone and fixing things for them.
When you help you teach and offer tools giving the other person a chance to grow, develop and learn to do things for themselves. When you fix things for people they’re likely to become reliant on others to do things for them because that is all they know.
Often when we see people we care about face challenging situations we lend a hand. You think you’re helping but what you’re really doing is fixing the problem for them. And so as time passes and the person faces more challenges they don’t know how to do things for themselves because they haven’t learnt how to overcome.
We do it because we care and we don’t want to see the people we care for suffer. But in doing so we forget that these people have strengths within themselves and that they are also capable of overcoming their own challenges.
And so the lesson lies in finding the balance between helping and fixing. I’ve learnt that support plays a significant and often overlooked role. To look the person you love in the eye and simply say ‘I’m here for you and I’ll support you through this’ may be more powerful and have longer lasting effects than fixing things for them.
‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’
*crowd remains silent*
What if you were the first to raise your hand instead of waiting for someone else to go first?
Better yet what if you offered to help before anyone even asked?
It’s easy to follow the crowd and do just enough to be average.
But what if you decided to offer a little bit more?
It’s a very different experience when you decide to show up and care instead of just doing what’s required.
Sometimes bounce-back and sometimes give yourself time.
I dedicated a whole post to bouncebackability. It’s an important part of life and I believe that having the resilience to not let every little thing in life knock you about is useful.
But on the flip-side sometimes you just need a break. You need to eat good food, take a walk, relax, spend time alone, sleep, do something enjoyable, turn your phone off, sit in silence, take some deep breaths, get a massage or whatever it may be.
It’s not about wallowing but instead admitting ‘I’m going through something and I’m going to take care of myself’. Don’t be so quick to always bounce back to the point where you’re trying to bypass or ignore your feelings.
On how pent up energy comes out in unexpected ways.
Sometimes when a person over reacts it’s because they’ve got built up frustration or anger and this particular situation has been the breaking point.
All of a sudden you’re losing your cool over ‘spilt milk’ and sometimes in the moment you don’t even know why you’re so mad.
In hindsight you know that ‘spilt milk’ wasn’t worth shouting about but you did it anyway.
And to everyone around you, you just overreacted or lost your temper because they don’t know about everything that led to that moment.
It might even change how they are around you, because when you’re around anyone can get it and nobody wants to be anyone.
So if you care enough you might want to learn to address things in the moment instead of letting them fester.
That way your response to ‘spilt milk’ will be about the ‘spilt milk’ not because your colleague was rude, someone lied to you and that family member keeps asking you for money.