Tag Archives: Alternative

When Disappointment comes in Threes… it’s Still not Personal

24 Jan Notes to Self

You’ve probably heard the (stupid) adage that bad news comes in threes.  I know people who are so enmeshed with this belief that when two (bad) things happen just days apart, they expect that the streak won’t end until a third bad thing happens.  But like the good things in life, none of this is personal. (See my other posts about Don Miguel Ruiz‘s book The Four Agreements The second agreement is “Don’t take anything personally.”

When it comes to disappointment, we take a similar stance – when one disappointment happens, more seem to pile up within minutes.  It is only natural to feel a bit down when the first disappointment happens (due to OUR unfulfilled expectations of them), but then things seem to compound with everyone that crosses our path.  Some weeks it seems that everyone I meet behaves differently than I would (unfulfilled golden rule!) and it can really bring me down!

Let me give you an example… when a friend n0-shows or doesn’t come through on plans we’ve made, I feel disappointed, but still resilient.  When a second person does something similar thing around the same time, I again feel disappointed and start to feel disrespected.  When a third (unrelated to the first two) person forgets about a promise they’ve made – it compounds the first two situations and now I start to wonder what my role was in the three-event situation.

The answer is that it’s not personal!  I was simply the common denominator participant in a perfect storm trifecta of events!  The three incidents were unrelated, not about me, and simply the converging of three things happening during the same week TO ME.  While the situation may FEEL personal, the coalescence of the three events has nothing to do with me or my manifestation of life!

A friend called me yesterday expressing this same sentiment – her sister had promised to drive her home from work and then didn’t neglected to show up or call; another friend had forgotten about an appointment they had made; and a co-worker reamed her out over something minor.  All unrelated events, but my friend was feeling disregarded and wondered what she had done to deserve such treatment.  The answer is nothing – people behave the way they will and even when disappointment comes in threes (or more) it’s still NOT personal.

disappointment

p.s., We tend to remember the negative things that hit our day more than the positive ones.  For me, I’ve found that it is easier to digest disappointment when I take notice of the good things that happen throughout the day. For example, when someone follows through on what they promise, when people share a compliment, when someone smiles for no reason.  As Don Miguel Ruiz states, these things too (like the negatives) are not personal.  When we notice the good things that happen all the time, they balance out the negatives — we simply fail to take notice.

Have a great day!

Carol

Do nice people finish last?

7 Mar

There is so much contradiction in books and on the internet today about whether nice people finish first, middle, or last in life and in business.  What do you think?

I think that it all depends on the meaning of the word “nice” especially when it comes to taking care of yourself first.  So many of us were taught that being nice means putting others first – but that flies in the face of good self-care.  A counselor once told me that good self-care means taking care of yourself first whether that means at work or in our personal life.  This is not how many 40-somethings were raised to believe, and we need to change our attitude and our outlook!

The counselor reminded me that the people who get ahead in life are the ones who make noise – starting in the hospital nursery.  The babies who cried loudest and longest get the most attention and have their needs met ahead of others.  The more content babies did not get noticed and some even slept through while the demanding babies garnered the love and attention of nurses.

In business, we observe that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” – those who self-promote, pontificate, forge ahead of others in line, and who demand attention get noticed more and promoted more.  The four-year-old prima donna behavior of “Look at me, look at me!” unfortunately seems to work when promotions are given out and bonuses are paid.

What about those who work well with others by cooperating, promoting their teams, and supporting co-workers – sometimes at their own expense. “Nice” people don’t stand out, and despite articles published that say the contrary, they can end up being invisible and overlooked while the brash, less considerate, and self-promotioning assertive people move ahead.  These people were the crying babies in the nursery who learned how to get their needs met early in life.

If you are a nice person and find yourself being left behind at work and in life, maybe it is time to examine how your behavior sabotages your own best interests.  It is never too late to learn how to set aside some of the seemingly “nice” behaviors that put others first and fail to get our needs met.  Only you can take care to make sure that your needs are met. No one else will put you first so you have to do it for yourself (and doing so ensures your survival!)

p.s., Take a moment out of your week to say thank you to a nice person today – they make our lives better just because they are who they are.  It is due time that they get ahead (finally!) for the niceness they bring to our world!

Carol

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