Jan 3, 2013

When Positives Turn Negative

Photographed by Meg White Photography during a shoot in September.

Hello, gorgeous friends!

Guys, I've failed. Oh, goodness. I'm sorry! I'm taking a temporary/possibly permanent break from the 30 Things challenge. I know! I'm sorry! Don't worry though, I'll still be blogging a ton but now I'll be writing things that I want to write- starting with todays post. I may come back to the 30 Things Challenge and finish it slowly  but I just have so many other things I want to write about. It was SUCH a fun challenge and I really encourage you to try it. It did exactly what I needed it to- it helped me introduce myself to you, got me in the hang of blogging, and even- I think- helped me find my blogging "voice". I had a great time. I just feel like it's time to move on and write things that feel more- organic. Something nice, raw, and my own.

Plus, this has been on my mind for awhile now-

I had a conversation with a woman the other day that got the gears turning in my head. She is a fun, talkative woman with a fun job and I love hearing her talk about her work/co-workers. She is such a sweet lady and I thought this was incredibly real/honest for her to admit- she began to talk about a girl who works in her office. She described this girl as being "overly friendly", the sort who uses terms like "hun" and "babe" for everyone she meets. The sort of girl who brings cookies to work and shares with everyone. She talked about how this girl (I've never met, by the way) was just trying too hard and how, because of that, they just weren't going to mesh.

Now- I think this "rubbed me wrong" for a few reasons. Possibly because, honestly, I am so that girl. I am. I spent a year working as a waitress and I've called nearly every stranger I've encountered "hun" ever since. Old habbits die hard, right? While I've yet to bring cookies to work, I do occasionally stop and get donuts for the office before Monday morning meetings. Yeah, obviously, I really empathised with this girl I've never met.

This started me thinking about how often we (I know I do it!) tend to take a "positive" aspect of a person and turn it into a negative. Hear me out, here-

The girl in this scenario sounded nice. She seems to be putting in an effort to connect with her peers. Sure, the "hun" thing could possibly be a bit annoying but it sounds like she was genuinely trying to make the people around her comfortable and put in effort to be kind- sounds all positive to me. But, I think, in a way that that threatens us and we find a way to cope by creating a complaint. (I've never met this girl so honestly my opinion is just objective and based off the given information)

I'm not saying always. I'm not saying everyone does this- but I know I sure do.

For me, though, I tend to pin people who threaten me as "cocky". I'm pretty confident in my own skin, don't get me wrong- but I have flaws and I've struggled with accepting those the way I think alot of people do. So, when I meet someone who I feel is more confident than I am I tend to think of them as "cocky". WHAT?! This person thinks they are AMAZING?! Cocky. Cockycockycocky. How dare they? HOW DARE THEY be so comfortable with who they are!!! (I think sometimes people with certain sense of humors get mislabeled as cocky as well)

Growing up, I was always incredibly thin. I'm not saying thin is a positive thing (dont even get me started on body image and the crazy double standards). But I was constantly (I do mean CONSTANTLY) fighting off rumors that I was anorexic/bulemic. My entire family is thin. I was stuck in an awkward phase, had a crazy fast metabolism, and was one active kid. I was making healthy choices, I just wasn't putting on weight. But sometimes, the world around you wants to see you a certain way.  I think it's the same reason we turn things that are "different" into things that are "weird".

The point of this whole big long rant is THIS- I feel like sometimes we have to find flaws in people. Sometimes, to the point of creating flaws out of things that aren't actually flaws. It's easy to get stuck in a vicious circle of needing to make people out as being inferior. I've done it and I still catch myself doing it from time to time (Hey! I'm human! I'm working on it!).

But it doesn't have to be that way- what if instead of constantly looking for flaws in people, we focused on the positives. What if we made it our goal to find at least ONE good thing about each person we encountered and we focused on that good? The possibilities for change are endless.

And you know what I think the first step is? Taking that advice and turning it on ourselves. Next time you look in the mirror- find the GOOD things. Focus on the good things. We all have flaws, sure, but they don't have to make us shine any less bright.

You are beautiful, inside & out.


Anonymous said...

So are you, beautiful, skinny, funny, endearing, wonderful, smart, charming, intoxicating girl. You have a beautiful attitude about life and you are nothing you shouldn't be.


Melani said...

Thank you! I really needed to hear all of this today. :)

Anonymous said...

I totally agree! So many positive things about people are somehow turned into negatives. It's ridiculous!

You should be that girl!

It's a great quality to have!

Ms. Amanda Grace said...

This post makes me want to hug you.

I am so that girl too. And there's no shame in that. Or flaws, or scars, or skinny girls. SKINNY GIRLS UNITE. (ps. telling a girl she's too thin hurts just as bad).

LJ said...

Great post, and I LOVE your blog so far! I totally agree with you about seeking out the positives... and yes, I'm that girl too, although "hun" really gets under my skin for some reason.
I look forward to reading more of your blog!
xx L