I am back in Dubai and so I should be once again writing my inspirational tips.
Here comes my number 12 after a long break.
Last night, I went out with a few girlfriends on a ladies night. We always start at the Westin, but then we usually move to the Habtoor after a couple of hours. I had an interesting experience that encouraged me to write this inspirational tip. As a single woman I go out a lot and of course in the process I always meet new people. I’m generally curious about people, so I am happy to engage in conversations with complete strangers.
Last night I met a guy who I really enjoyed talking to, so as we were leaving Westin I invited him and his friend to join us to Habtoor. Upon our arrival it was absolutely crowded with people. I jumped quickly to the bathroom as my girlfriends along with the two guys waited for me outside. When I came back, I saw them quarreling about something. I was surprised and asked what was wrong. My friends were furious and explained to me that those two men were both married, and they had no right leading me on as I was a single woman looking for someone to share my life with.
While I could understand my friend’s point of view, I could not understand their anger. I explained to my friends that I never asked them if they were married so they couldn’t really blame them for not telling me. This however didn’t seem to calm them down as they continued to point out to me that men ‘like that’ are all the same and are only after one thing and that one thing was to cheat on their wife. Seeing my friends so upset and angry got me thinking that they are probably not the only women who think this way and perhaps it is me who is the exception to the rule with my way of thinking. Perhaps what has changed me is that I have certain rules in my life that I live by. Those rules have freed me from many negative emotions like anger, frustration, resentment, fear, stress, anxiety, etc that I used to feel those almost daily before. Even though I know I can never free myself completely from those negative emotions I know that I am feeling them less and less.
As I believe, we could all benefit from having less negative emotions, and more positive and constructive ones I thought I should share the few rules that this situation brought to my mind. The implementation of these rules in my life allowed me to perceive the situation from a completely different perspective to that of my friends and thereby freed me from feeling the negative emotions of anger and upset.
My first rule is become curious instead of judging people. I believe that judging others defines you not them, and it definitely says more about you than them. How? It is simple, we judge others because their way of behaving or talking is not in line with our own values, beliefs, and so when somebody behaves in a way that is unacceptable according to our own rules, we judge them. There is another important point that I should mention. Not only do we judge people based on our own beliefs and values, we also judge them based on our ASSUMPTIONS which are NOT THE TRUTH! It gets only more complicated, we will assume things based on our past experience, and too often, we fill in the blanks with absolute no closeness to reality. This is why I believe, we view things as we are rather than as they are.
Here, curiosity instead of judging simply states that it would be healthier looking at our differences as human beings, not as something bad, but rather as something more positive and interesting. Become curious about why people behave and think the way they do. Take the time and interest to understand their values and beliefs, see things from their point of view and perspective. Ask questions instead of judging. With this new found attitude, your experience of other people will be a much more positive one and most importantly, your own feelings will change.
“The only difference between a flower and a weed is a judgment” Think about it…
My second rule is that what you bring out to the world, is what you have within you and what you store inside is only your choice. I like how Wayne dyer describes this with a metaphor of an orange. He says: “If you cut an orange in half and you squeeze it, what comes out?” Orange juice right? He continues: “We will never get apple juice, grapefruit juice or any other juice…no matter how much we squeeze the orange”. “What comes out of the orange is what is inside; it is as simple as that”. What it means is this: “If you have anger, resentment, fear and anxiety stored inside of you; when you are squeezed or pressurized, you will express those feelings”. There are people who always react with anger, some who are always afraid, and others who always feel resentments. Isn’t that true? Yes, we have the capacity to create all those emotions, but we also have a choice, and it is only that, that determines which emotions, we allow ourselves to experience most frequently.
A few weeks ago, I had anxiety bottled up inside of me, because of my perception of a situation I was in. I noticed that I reacted to situations very differently than I was used to. I was more upset from people, I felt more disappointed and generally, I was ruder than I usually am. My behavior and feelings changed, because I already had negative feelings stored inside of me. I’m sure some of you have experienced having a rough day at work, coming home and yelling at your spouse for something that you would normally not get upset over. My point is that when you decide to fill your inside with positive constructive feelings, it is that positivity that comes out even when faced with challenging situation or what you might perceive as the rudest of people. Remember – how you react to people defines you as a person and nobody else. My third rule is to always think about what you would like the outcome of a situation to be before reacting to it. A good example of this happened to me a few years ago – my girlfriends had rented a limousine for a special night out together. All the girls were waiting for me in the limousine at my friend’s house and I was running late and needed to get there as soon as possible. I jumped into a taxi and asked the driver if he knew the directions to the place where I was going, he assured me he knew them very well.
To cut a long story short, it turned out that the driver didn’t actually know the directions to my friends house and wanted to drop me off at a nearby shopping mall so that I could jump into another taxi. Momentarily I got very upset, I was late and I was thinking about my friends waiting for me but then I stopped myself from reacting and thought about what I wanted the outcome of this scenario to be. I wanted to get to my friend’s place as soon as possible and if I took another taxi, it would cost me lots of trouble and time. So I thought about the outcome I wanted and how to achieve it. I put my hand on the driver’s shoulder, smiled and with a calm voice I told him gently that I really needed to be dropped off at the right place and together we could find it. With the help of my friend, the cooperation of the taxi driver and the outcome in mind, we got there pretty fast. The end result: I got to where I needed to go and enjoyed a fabulous night out with my friends!
So, was the taxi driver wrong? In my perception he was but that isn’t relevant as it is not my job to teach him right from wrong. My point is that sometimes it is much more powerful to look for the outcome of a situation rather than just reacting to it. To do this, puts you in power of the circumstances and accordingly allows you to control the outcome. I have practiced this strategy many times and I am now pretty skilled at achieving the outcome I desire.
My fourth rule is let go of expectations. A year ago, when I became single again, I had a clear idea of what I wanted in a man. When I went out on dates I had certain expectations. Every single date was a huge disappointment, and then I started to expect the dates to be boring. Every time it was… a self fulfilling prophecy. So one day I decided to let go of my expectations, and just enjoy what each man had to offer. Following this new attitude, my dates transformed, and I really started to enjoy them. It doesn’t mean that I let go of my idea of what I want in a man. It simply means that I am now open to experience whatever any man has to offer without the expectation. What can come out of it is a great friendship or perhaps, one day something more…
My fifth rule and perhaps the most important one is that what you give out you get back. It simply states that you should treat other people the way you want to be treated. When you judge people expect to be judged back, when you are rude to people expect the same back, when you are kind to people you mostly get kindness back and when you are honest, people are usually honest back.
You might have experienced being cheated on treated bad in one way or another despite your effort of being kind. This should in no way change you or the way you behave because if you are like the orange you know that what comes out is what you have stored inside despite your circumstances.
In conclusion, these are the four rules that helped me perceive the two men very differently than my friends did. I didn’t judge them, why should married men be deprived of going out and meeting new people? I didn’t have any expectations, and I thought of the outcome before reacting when I heard they were married. I enjoyed a very nice evening, met good people; married and not married and went home happy. Isn’t that what going out is all about? Is it worth going out if you are going to go home feeling upset and angry? It is a question that you my reader can answer for yourself…