Don’t Negate Me

I watched a clip recently where a comedian spoke about how she got her start in the comedy world. She started out in an Improv club where they would hone their skills in reacting to odd ball scenarios. (Think of the old tv show Whose Line is it Anyway?) The only rule in their interactions was they couldn’t negate the other speaker’s experiences. This idea immediately jumped out to me. Don’t negate what others are experiencing.

Jane – “Wow. Life has been really hard lately. My little  kids never eat and are terrible sleepers.”

Beth – “Just wait until they are older and all they  want to do is sleep and always want to eat. Then you’ll miss it.”

game-characters-1744210_1920While Beth might be right eventually, Jane isn’t dealing with eventually. Right now Jane is trying to survive currently. Interactions like this play out every single day. One person shares something that is hard and the next person shows how their life is harder.  Instead of one upping our frustrations, think about the different ways you can build upon each other.

Jane – “Wow. Life has been really hard lately. My little  kids never eat and are terrible sleepers.”

Beth – “I remember that stage. It was incredibly frustrating. If you are interested, I’m happy to share some tips that helped me.”

In this second scenario, Jane got to vent about her frustrations. She got to verbalize what is making life frustrating, and wasn’t told her experience was negligible in the grand scheme of things. Beth then put herself in a position to help make Jane’s day better. Commit to making someone else’s day better. Commit to being the good. Commit to loving those around you. Whatever you choose, just commit!

 

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