What Thirty-some Years Has Taught Me About People (in general)

No need for an explanation. Let's get started, shall we?

1. Insecurity is a disease--We all have our little insecurities...our hang-ups, our neuroses, our things we feel like we just can't get past. Insecurity, however, prevents us from getting the jobs we want, the love we want, the sex we want, the life we want. Insecurity (which, in reality, is just your Inner Critic) will keep a powerful and amazing individual weak and small. I've seen it happen to others, and I know it's happened to me. Insecurity causes people to self-protect, sometimes in somewhat harmless ways (e.g. self-deprecating humor) but sometimes in harmful ways, too (e.g. malicious gossip, withdrawal, abuse). Beware of insecurity in yourself and others.
2. Everyone appreciates small kindnesses. Everyone.--Throw in a word of (genuine) praise into your latest e-mail, hold the door, pick up the pen that stranger dropped. Kindness paves in-roads to connection. And connection, ultimately, makes us matter.
3.  If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...it's a duck--Trust your instincts. If a person says one thing, but consistently does another, well...it's most likely that the actions are truer than the words. Quack, quack.
4.  Passive-aggression is still aggression--Passive-aggression might be clothed in the sweetness of a backhanded compliment, a veiled threat, or suggested situation, but it's still aggression. Being stabbed with a velvet handled knife is still, er, stabbery. Do not engage.

5.  People will always surprise you--We already know that people will surprise us with the depth of their badness (one only needs to check the news every so often for confirmation of this fact) but in my thirty-some years, I've learned to love when people surprise me with the depths of their kindness, charitableness, forgiveness, and generosity. I love those moments of surprise. Love them.

What have you learned about people?
Posted by The Naked Redhead


That Kind Of Girl said...

YES! I 9000% agree with all of this. Amen. In re: the second piece of advice, one of the mantras I'm constantly repeating to myself is: "Always be a little bit nicer than you have to be." Niceness compounds upon itself and really does change the world as we walk through it.

magnolia said...

LOVE this list. seriously. especially the passive-aggressive part. being a southern girl, i've seen passive-aggressive wielded a thousand different ways. i was guilty of it a LOT when i was married to my ex. but now that i'm in a better relationship, i find myself working really hard to be straight with him, good, bad or indifferent. as i always tell him, "you've earned the right to get whatever's on my mind, no games."

The Naked Redhead said...

@TKOG--The power of nice is crazy. I've been learning it first-hand over the last few months. It's astounding to me how much people appreciate even the smallest of actions. It's worth it to smile, to say thank you, to hold a door. Absolutely.
@magnolia--I think women in particular are taught that we must always cocoon our true thoughts into a nice, sweet package. I'm not saying we can't tell the truth and also be kind, but you're right...we're not doing anyone any favors by not saying exactly what we mean, especially in relationships.

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