We all get in a rut, stressed, or just don’t have time to return phone calls to the best of friends. But making excuses is so tired and dated and no one wants to hear it. When you see friends and loved ones, make an effort to empower yourself to rise above the same old chit chat of bad traffic, “I’m so busy,” and “I’m tired.”
MindBodyGreen recently published a great article on this subject:
How do I know these things are the things nobody wants to hear? Because I was the one saying them over and over until I was blue in the face, until people stopped listening to me.
1. I’m tired.
Go ahead. Take a poll. Ask around. Ask people if they care how tired you are. (Hint: They don’t care.)
I know this because it is the thing I say the most. I say it even before I know if I am actually truly tired or not. This is why I started working with mantras and mind tattoos in my class. I had my own little mantra of “I’m tired” ruling my brain like a bully. Before you moan into a phone or the air or to anyone who will listen how tired you are, get yourself in check. What is really going on? Are you really tired? Is telling someone how tired you are going to improve your life or their life in any way? What else can you say besides I’m tired?
This type of thinking is powerful because it causes us to be more mindful before we speak. To actually consider if what we are about to say has any value. If it is better than silence.
Sometimes I think that I am just so used to talking, to noise, that I will say anything just to keep that noise at a low hum. No one cares how tired we are.
Newsflash: Everyone is tired.
Take a nap. Get an extra hour at night. Get off the phone or Facebook and meditate. Write about it. Complaining about it is boring and it is like saying: I am a person.
2. I am so busy.
We. Are. All. Busy.
And even if we aren’t really busy, most of us make ourselves busy in some way or another. Busy little bees. We are buzzing through our lives. Perhaps to a fault. I wouldn’t mind being bored once in a while. Remember as kids how we’d say, “I’m so bored.” Oh, to be bored now. What a dream! I’d get lost in a book. I’d sit and do nothing. I would be happy being bored for a little.
Everyone is busy so when we say to someone I am so busy it makes the other person feel a little less busy which can equal to a little less important in one’s mind.
I am so sorry I have not called you back in 6 months. I’ve been so busy while you have been sitting around picking your nose is how most people translate it. Not everyone, no. Some people just hear “I’ve been traveling or trekking in the woods or taking my kids to soccer” but some do take it as a personal failure. The easy way out? Don’t offer up an excuse. Especially not the I am so busy one. How about saying instead “Hello, how are you? What’s have you been up to since we saw each other last?”
That makes it all about the other person instead of you. Then, if they ask, you tell them what you have been up to. And if it is a helluva lot, they will get it: you have indeed been busy. You don’t need to tell them.
We don’t need to use our busy-ness as a measure of worthiness.
3. My boyfriend/girlfriend has been treating me so badly for 2 years!
This one seems self-explanatory. I was in a relationship for years where my sort-of boyfriend “didn’t treat me well.” So why didn’t I leave? Why did I stay? I allowed this behavior and then cried to my friends. After a while you lose crying rights. No one wants to hear anymore.
Get out! Do whatever it takes but get out or stop talking about it or change your mind. Do something.
4. Traffic and how bad it is.
Blegh. We all hate traffic. We all also hate hearing about how we all hate traffic. Hush now. Leave earlier. Try a new route. Just stop kvetching about it. (I know because I lose my marbles in traffic and like to let everyone know just how bad it is.)
5. My job and how I hate it and have hated it for years but won’t leave it.
As Wayne Dyer says “If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
I am committing to living and speaking powerfully. I have realized how I can take a moment and get quiet before I speak to ask myself if what I am about to say is in any way helpful or if it even needs to be said at all. And to ask myself how it will affect the listener? I know I can’t control how someone reacts to me but I can be thoughtful before I speak. I can be mindful and conscious.
I have realized that I have some words on autopilot such as I am tired and I hate traffic and that not only are they boring but they cause people to tune out. I want people to listen when I speak and to listen when others speak.
Where can you commit to quieting the noise?
Still Rockin’ It