Did You Know? “When you’re speaking emotionally, the words only account for 7% of what get conveyed. Seven percent. Voice tone and body language are far more important.” (via)
As you may have noticed, I write “be thoughtful” at the end of all my posts. When I started writing regularly I wanted to think of something to end with. Something short, that I genuinely wanted readers to leave w/every day. I thought about “be nice” or “be kind” because there’s nothing better than a nice person, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, you shouldn’t be nice. You should be strong. You should be loud & badass & stick up for yourself, which might not be nice. I might actually suggest “be mean”.
I came up with “be thoughtful”. If you slow down & you’re thoughtful of the people you’re interacting with, you’ll know whether to be nice or to be mean. No one knows what’s going on w/the people they interact with every day and no one knows you.
I think this really amplified itself for me a year ago when I was dealing w/bad anxiety. I feel like I looked normal but was going through such a tough time in my head. I was trying to take things slow & gentle while I worked through my anxiety, and I felt fragile. But people didn’t know that.
One issue I had was driving anxiety. American’s driving is the single thing I HATE the most about America. It’s also one of the only times I use the word hate. Moms, dads, young people, old people, men, women, they all drive like a tasmanian devil. It’s crazy to me! We have these huge machines we’re plowing recklessly through traffic with and have no worry? And where are we always rushing to? Why are we rushing? We’re a product of our environment, American’s are glued to time. My advice is to say fuck it & leave work early, take your time to your kids soccer game, so you can show up alive.
Needless to say, I still carry a little anxiety with driving. (My full post on driving in America vs Dubai: Here)
Recently, I was severely flicked off in traffic. Which is normal for me, Wafiq & I laugh about it all the time. But this time I was flicked off like baaaaaaad. I was making a turn to get on the highway & I wasn’t sure if my lane was a U Turn only lane, or if I could take a left. I slowed down very slightly to check the sign & boy did that piss off the guy behind me. God forbid I slow down his day, even for 2 seconds. He was SO. PISSED. OFF. You guys. He fled around me the second he had a chance, screaming at me through his window, w/his veins popping out of his neck. Then the worst happened, there was nowhere to go. He had to stop in the traffic that was right in front of me. No fault of mine. There we were, sitting in traffic, side by side. He was so frustrated – he rolled down his window you guys, and started flicking me off through his side mirror! LOL! YES! Can you even believe? My mouth dropped open! How could something so little make someone so angry??
When I was going through my anxiety, something like that would have given me a full blown panic attack. I thought to myself, what if he knew that? What if he slowed down to think: I’m not going to get very angry w/this person because I don’t know her. And I’m not going to get angry at this person because, what did she do? What was I trying to accomplish?
It’s about being thoughtful.
5 Times To Be Thoughtful
1)Be thoughtful of: Work AND Home Life
Before we react, think. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. At work, I always try to remember coworkers have families at home. A mom, dad, daughter, dog, boyfriend. Work isn’t everything. People have so much going on that we don’t stop & think about, before we react. If they have to leave early, or take “too many” sick days, but they’re hard working people – why should we care?
2) Be thoughtful of: Making Plans
If someone made plans to do something & had to cancel – Maybe they didn’t have enough money, maybe they aren’t comfortable, maybe they had a fucking terrible day. They’re taking care of themselves by putting themselves first. Doesn’t that matter the most?
3) Be thoughtful of: Style & Choices
If someone is wearing clothes that you don’t like, or acting in a way you don’t act, or friends with someone you don’t understand – stop & think about those things from their position before you judge them. Maybe those clothes make them comfortable or maybe they’re bravely trying something new. Good for them! Maybe anxiety is forcing someone to act differently. We have no idea how they feel.
4) Be thoughtful of: Others Needs & Feelings
EEE this is a fun one because I enjoy trying to improve my conversations w/people. When you’re thoughtful, you’ll likely be able to notice what type of conversation people need from you. Whether they need you to listen, or gossip with them, or laugh, or a distraction. If you’re thoughtful, you’ll be able to deliver. You’re slowing down to think about your conversations instead of blabbering away. I say this is fun because it’s a fuzzy feeling when you walk away from a fulfilling conversation.
5) Be thoughtful of: Your Needs & Feelings
The most important one?! This is my anti-nice thoughtfulness. Some people need you to be gentle, compassionate & kind in your communication. They’re sensitive & shy w/insecurities & require acknowledgment. Be thoughtful of that if you’re typically a hard person. BUT, on the other side of that, if you’re a quiet, shy, soft person that isn’t used to a challenging conversation or speaking what you believe, take a minute to be thoughtful of that. Try to be strong when you’re in a situation that requires it. Be confident, loud, mean, and brave.
It all boils down to slowing down & thought. That’s the thing I wish the most of people. Slowing down & thinking about a situation before acting. This isn’t an easy task because it takes you compromising your initial feelings, but it only takes a lil baby effort. And the reminder at the end of all my posts is supposed to help you get there everyday 🙂
Have a great week & be thoughtful!