> How many times has this happened to you? You are cruising along, feeling fine about yourself, your life, your career, when you hear someone say something negative about you and your day (and maybe week) just goes to crap.
I hate it when that happens! I especially hate it when I get all mopey and depressed about something they said that I ALREADY KNOW IS TRUE! It’s as if I think I am hiding it from everyone else and now that it is out I have to realize it all over again about myself.
My unfather-in-law, Dwight Johnson and I couldn’t have been more different one from another. Where I was extroverted and opinionated, he was introverted and diplomatic in discussions. Where I was artistic and distracted he was logical and focused. Where I was a ‘bad boy’ with innuendo humor and a flirtatious streak, he was a straight arrow and wouldn’t know how to flirt if Marilyn Monroe landed in his lap.
The reason I mention this is that I was a relentless teaser of Dwight in the early years of our relationship. It wasn’t hard to do. But his response was always in good humor. It’s as if he knew my teasing, my comments about his habits, his attitudes, etc. weren’t about him. They were about me. His stock response, the response I am now recommending you take, is simple and easy to remember. He used to say ‘I just consider the source’.
So, consider the source. Not just to understand the comment in it’s proper place, but to also be understanding of the person who said it, their weaknesses and eccentricities and insecurities that led them to say something like that.
By the way, Dwight eventually became the most important male adult in my life. I learned more from him about how to be a good husband, father and man than any other single person. I didn’t learn the lessons very well, I flunked many times, but nonetheless it was his example, and his good humor with me, that gave me much of what I deem of highest value in who I became.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily blog.
Quote by Santayana, 1863-1952, Spanish Aphorist and Philosopher