Monday, August 23

Coming of Age

It's a funny thing, but not in a ha-ha way, when you come to accept yourself for who you are. I told someone this the other day, and I want to share it with all of you. I had an epiphany today, at work, and I want to share that, as well.

I was never at ease with myself. I always considered myself to be the "other".. that girl who just doesn't fit in. Due to many factors, it became not just the "other", but the bad, as well. Those aren't what I'm here to talk about, not right now.

What I am here to talk about is acceptance. Not about acceptance from others, but acceptance that you give to others. No one, not a soul in this world, should feel the way I did (have for most of my life). No one should feel as though they are alone. No one, I reserve the right to repeat for emphasis, no one is alone. For that reason, no one should feel completely excluded, or ostricized, or abandoned. I work every day, trying to make sure that those around me are at ease. I have for as long as I can recall, and it's a very simple process, there are very simple rules to follow, in order to bring the people around you into a very simple sort of happiness - the happiness of feeling as though they belong. Here are a few tricks of my version of the trade:

  • Take a deep breath, and look around you. Realize, as hard as it might be, sometimes, that everyone is a person, and everyone lives within their own mind.
  • Understand that the world in which you live, your own mind, no matter how much sense it may make to you, is not their mind. Take a few steps in their (probably ugly beyond understanding and uncomfortable as hell) shoes.
  • Take a deep breath, and know that you are not them. Be grateful, because you do not have the problems that they have (and Pete forbid, you ever will).
  • Smile. Wink, if necessary. Take the time to let them know that you want them to be happy - few things are better for this than a smile (frown-and-be-genuinely-sad falls under the same category. There are many ways with which to sympathize). Most people respond well to a smile. A wink is just an icing, really.
  • Be Patient. Few things are as calming as a person who will listen to your troubles, and be genuinely interested in them.
  • Talk slowly. Talk in a tone of voice that seems just a tad bit too slow. If you're soothing, the people will most likely be soothed, and therefore more calm. The faster you talk, the more frantic you seem. The more frantic you seem, the more likely they are to over-react, and get even more stressed out. Sometimes, it's hard to do. Almost always, it pays off. I'm not advising to talk in the tones you would use on a three-year-old, I'm suggesting an extra effort to put a calming tone to your voice.
  • Shrug it off. Some people will never ever understand, or appreciate, your extra thoughts. Those people were sent from whatever is unholy, to make your life a living Hell. It happens. The next person you work your magic upon will most likely respond kindly.
  • Let the little bits of kindness that people show you go far.
  • Tell the people who are kind to you, how much it means. It might seem extranious, at times, but it always sticks with them, in one way or another. They might even apply it to their own daily lives. No matter how fruitless it may seem, it may pass on. The little bit of effort it takes is always worth it.

All of these things might seem like minor things, to some people. Many of them will be things you do without a second thought. If there's anything to add, please comment.


B said...

these are only minor things for people that dont understand other people. i think most people want comfort of some kind, and someone that can offer them that is amazing. that person may never know they are amazing, but its okay. deep inside, its all okay. i wish there were more people like this.

inediblehulk said...

Well, if everyone thought about this the way you do, I'd probably smoke a lot less...on that note, is there something I can substitute for all the deep breaths involved in your protocol? Seriously though, it's easy to accept the fact that there are worlds outside our own mental borders, but it's impossible to know what these worlds contain. A smile should never hurt, and almost always lift the spirits of its target, however slightly, but not everyone wants to be accepted and brought into another's light. Many of us are the 'others' and do not feel like we are the 'bad'. Your extra thoughts may come off as pretentious and condescending to some. But I'm sure you can tell the difference. At least I think so. Talking slow and soothingly, always good, if you can master, again, not coming off as condescending. One question: What ways can we, or do you, let the kindess shown to you go far? Other than repayment, of course. Long comment here, I see...well, take care and talk to you soon.

Anonymous said...


sunny said...

Hey Marc!

I'm glad you're still responding to my posts, it shows that you haven't given up on me completely. Usually, the lack of my comments on your blog just meant that I was reading, and understanding, and laughing, and it seemed a little silly to write that after everything you posted.

I've said it before, even though I don't say it enough.. you're a good friend, and I'm glad I know you. I'm sorry if I don't give enough encouragement or enforcement - but you're seriously a good person. Also, a great writer. I don't care if you write about your surroundings, or what's in your head (though the latter might be a little scarier, lol), I'll be tuning in - probably every day. Most likely more often than I'll comment.

As for the way I try to show people my appreciation for their kindnesses? I write them embarassingly public entries about how much I enjoy them. No, seriously, a lot of the time all it takes is really looking deep into how much they're doing for you, or just seriously appreciating what they are doing for you, and saying Thank You. It's not hard to do, but a lot of people forget.

птица (Ptiza) Odelay said...

Does Dave Grohl appreciate the homage?

B said...

I like to think that Dave is looking down on all of us whenever we use his words on our blogs.

Pops said...

I know the secret of how to accept yourself for yourself: reject everyone else. Everyone.

Your thinking "But why, Pops?" Why? Because fuck 'em, that's why.

You'll see. When you put all your time and energy into trying to be by yourself, really trying to get one goddamn second of uninterrupted privacy, people will beat down your door just to pester you.

Then you get to pick who gets in and who doesn't. You can hand pick and mold an army of pliant, suggestable minions to do your bidding, aid your plans for global conquest or at least save your place in line at the movies if you have to go to the bathroom or something.

sunny said...

Awesome. I've seen it work. Though, not to the thousands of minions.. yet. Good luck with that..

Especially when I get the feeling that the most pestered that you, Pops, get is from people even shorter than I am. ;)

B said...

I need to get in on this "having minions" thing....where can I aquire some? Someone to do my evil bidding (laundry, taking out the trash, bringing me beer) is just what I need.