I’ve Got Friends in High Places

I’ve got friends in High PlacesFriends

How about you?

I’m not a social climber or name-dropper – but my friends give me priceless advantage with very little effort on their part. I’m more of a siphon…not a sponge. These friends presence in my life put me at a distinct advantage for being a success.

You must be thinking ugly things about me. I deserve it because I sort of intentionally misled you. I’m mischievous that way…can’t help it.

My friends in high places are not business or political connections, they’re people who take the high ground in their day-to-day lives and inspire me to do the same. They act as a compass for me, when nurturing others, remaining non-judgmental and, in some aspects, help me drive my business in the spirit of being a positive and service-based. Continue reading “I’ve Got Friends in High Places”

It’s Going to Be a Great Day!

This is not the real delivery guy
(This is not the real delivery guy)

It’s going to be a great day.

That’s what it said on the top of the delivery sheet.

A handsome, young man who was expecting the worst…you could tell.

He told me he had to remind himself. His mantra was on the top of every work order for every day…because, “One bad customer can ruin your whole day.” He had 20 deliveries the day he saw me, and he was all business. From my corporate experience, I suspect he was on some kind of PIP – performance improvement plan. Maybe people had complained and he was REQUIRED to write it at the top of each work order. It’s an educated guess, informed by the fact he told me, “Honestly, I should’ve refused this delivery, so they could send a smaller truck,” as soon as he arrived.

Not a good way to win friends and influence people. Continue reading “It’s Going to Be a Great Day!”

Oh, The Drama!!!

Oh, The Drama!

A friend put this on her Facebook page:Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.35.18 AM

I think Cheryl Richardson hit the nail on the head. While we might KNOW it’s not our drama, the most challenging part of refraining, or resisting the drama, lays in identifying boundaries. That’s right…sometimes we get confused about which luggage is yours, which is mine, and we end up carrying other people’s bags. I’m no lobby boy (click to Tweet).

My theory is this –

In the vast expanse of most of our brains, there is a tiny corner of doubt. I rather appreciate that place, because it sometimes stops me before I speak, keeps me from making rash decisions and generally keeps me out of trouble. You probably have that corner, too. It’s a corner of doubt that can also be self-critical, keep us from pulling the trigger on our dreams and often gives some people a foot up as a stepping stone to pull us into their drama.

Politicians and marketers know about the using the corner as a stepping stone.

So do drama queens.

Now, not everyone has a “doubt corner.” Most of those who don’t are politicians and socio-paths. It is with this knowledge that I’m grateful for my occasional doubt. (click to Tweet)

Any ol’ hou….sometimes we dive into other people’s drama under the guise of wanting to help, to be supportive, or to prove we “care.”  There’s a plethora of reasons, including that doubt – we just don’t know what’s ours to do and what’s theirs to do. Sometimes the border can be almost invisible and it feels like the illegal immigration of our minds. One day you wake up amidst the drama and say, “Hey, this is really none of my business!” Now, the work of extracting yourself will begin. It’s best to have an early detection system where you can walk the other way, walk away from the drama, before you’re in their play.

If you can’t deflect the drama, there’s a tool for dealing with it and putting it back into the hands of the willing owner. I’ve found acknowledging and validating to be a very useful tool, so the person feels heard, but you’re not helping or participating. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Recognize ahead of time their drama is their business. You are not going to try to “help” or join them. It’s their path, their issue to learn from and their business how big of a deal they want to make it in their OWN lives. This is the most important step because this keeps their “stuff” in their lives.
  2. Acknowledge their feelings. Example: “It sounds like you’re really angry at your mother for calling you “crazy and irresponsible.” Stick to the facts by restating them.
  3. Now, validate their feelings with, “Most people would feel that way.” Key here – most people. Don’t make it personal by saying YOU’D feel that way, too. Don’t step into the pile. “Most people”…got it? Good!
  4. You can conclude your conversation on the topic by sharing some words of confidence to send them on their way. “You’re a very smart person, I know you’ll find a solution to this.” “You’ve got this, I have a great deal of confidence you already know the answer.”

Skilled people might ask a couple open-ended questions before going to step #4 – but this is not for the faint hearted. It’s one of the easiest ways to get a role in the drama queen’s play. So, if you want to be SURE not to end up on stage…proceed without asking questions, to the #4 wrap up. Here are the MOST important points

  • Recognize what is someone else’s drama
  • DO NOT ADVISE THEM!!!women with grace

Now, in my book of doing the work, you’ve done your part to support this person. Don’t wade in any further. Excuse yourself and go about your business. This works great with kids, too. Trust me on this…It’s supportive and empowering to let them figure out a solution on their own.

If you’re wondering if you’re a drama addict and part of the problem, you probably are. If people avoid your conversations, don’t blame them, examine your own topics of conversation and behaviour. If you’re compelled to help a drama queen, if you’re dying to “fix it,” you’ve got other issues. We tend to repeat behaviours that give us a pay-off. You might start by asking yourself, “What’s the pay-off for me in getting involved?”

Now, back to that little corner of doubt – know that it’s there. Protect it. It serves most of us well, but can be misused by others. Learning where boundaries lie is difficult because they apply to so many areas and contexts of our lives. Certainly, we don’t want to NOT help people who are truly asking and need it. Learning the difference is a valuable skill because you never signed up to be a supporting cast member of the crazy play.

Exiting Stage Left,

11782161_10207494863919739_64633069007983764_o

 

 

Michelle Andres is a writer and artist. SheWriter, Artist, Coach is a trained personal and executive coach, has a BA in Psychology and an MS in Organization Development. She’s an advocate for all of us cultivating our own, “Well-Lived Lives.”
Find her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram
Join the Tribe for Updates Over By the Left Sidebar

Loose Ends

Those dang loose ends. We tend to forget them, like fringe on the hem of our pants. We just drag them along, like they don’t even, never did, exist.

We don’t need to worry about every little thing, anyhow (click to Tweet). Little loose ends should be the least of our worries. Looking over our shoulder, when all that OTHER junk is looming on the horizon….that’s how you run into stuff!

I suspect loose ends have a lot more impact than we care to admit. I’ve suspected it for some time now.

Load of baggage

It’s all that hocus-pocus, voodoo, “the Universe says” sort of thing, you know? It’s a close cousin of the clean up the clutter to make room for new possibilities, self-help, kind of ‘er “crap.” Loose ends, I suspect, are the kind of fray that can silently KILL you! Think about this when you’re not thinking about it:

Loose ends are like our shadow selves –  pieces of a shrugged-off obligation. Like raggedy pant hems they go through the wet streets in winter, they drag through the mud of spring, they sit in the closet all summer long and finally, we yank them into the light again and, like mushrooms, they’ve grown in the dark, taking on a life of their own.

Loose endsSo, it’s time for me to clean it up. That’s right! I’m rolling up my sleeves, breaking out the scissors and trimming up those ravelly ends, before my life ends up in tatters. I suggest you do the same.

For years I’ve had an unfinished project in the mosaic studio. It’s sat unattended, like something from a Stephen King novel, watching from the shadows, silently whispering, “why don’t you finish me?” Well, I don’t really know. But, I do reckon you’re probably clogging up my abundant energy exchange. You’re probably so pissed at this point that you’re cursing me from the dark corner. Truth be told, I’ve avoided you the last 8 months because you scare the bejeezus out of me!

That’s not all…there’s another piece I’ve avoided, because I’m not sure about the vision of it. Again, a commitment that I’ve allowed myself to dodge, dragging my shabby shoes over, shuffling through the war-torn fields of my life’s forgotten promises.

Don’t judge me!

The last few months have felt like a little something is out of place. It’s not really bad…but it ain’t quite right. I’ve asked for guidance, I’ve sought answers. Maybe it wouldn’t bother someone who takes their commitments more lightly, but the guilt, oh the guilt of the unanswered promise, the shredded, ragged, misery of the loose ends. BAH!!!!

SO, before the next blog post that mosaic will be finished. Loose ends are the fibers that weave ragrets – intentional misspelling…no letters, puleeze. (click to Tweet)

Got a confession? Sure you do! Leave it below and we can do our penance together.

Off to Be a Grown Up,

11782161_10207494863919739_64633069007983764_o

 

 

Writer, Artist, CoachMichelle Andres is a writer and artist. She confesses every Friday and falls on the sword for all of us. Please, let’s laugh at ourselves together as we cultivate well lived lives. 

Find her on Facebook  and  Twitter and Instagram
Join the Tribe for Updates Over By the Left Sidebar