Today I was told that a colleague got the Norvo Virus (no idea, don’t ask) and lost 8 lbs. – Note for context, this was said in a “poor him” tone, as appropriate for delivering sad news.
My reaction? – “Poor him, I hope he’s ok…but it would be nice to loose 8 lbs so quickly.” (Half glass full thinking right?) Well my comment was quickly followed by jokes (at my expense) about visiting him at home and asking which door knob he uses most frequently (apparently how a large number of viruses spread…I wouldn’t make that up).
So I ask…does that mean I have a problem? Like a lack of a soul? I wonder how much souls weigh?
Most of us know how to respond appropriately to standard social situations. If someone is sick, we make “poor you” noises. If someone tells us they are stressed out or busy, we commiserate, even if we think they are a lazy (ahem). If someone presents us with their ugly child for the first time…well we say how charming they are, or how they look just like their parents. But imagine for a moment what would happen if you were best by the need to find a positive in every negative statement you encounter. Rather than saying “sorry your sick” you could say “well at least your building up your immune system for when the big killer flu hits”. When someone presents you with their ugly child, you might say “hey won’t it be great to save money on those prom dresses?”
Spend five minutes making a list of the social situations you encoutered today; the banal “poor you” and “what a charming baby” moments. Then set a timer for 30 minutes and re-write history. Change your responses to those people, and see where the story leads you.