Monday, November 07, 2005

Rose Colored Glasses

This article was written in response to a post from Opinions From On High

Sometimes I have found that these observations can be skewed from the perspective of the observer.

My sister has the opinion that I am the angel in the family and everyone picks on her, but this is far from the case. To this day I think she realizes this to not be completely true, but she still harbors these feelings for no apparent reason.

As your mother's child, you are viewing life through the eyes and observations of your mother. As such, you empathize with your mothers situation because you have been raised to view things as she does. Don't claim to be your own person and able to view things completely objective, because it can't happen. You're in the thick of it and therefore unqualified to make objective observations about you're own family. The only way to find out truly how things are would be to see a psychologist who can examine the situation from an outside perspective.

(I'm in no way qualified to comment on this area either, yet I always seem to have opinions and can't keep silent about them. So take what I say as the ravings of a madman, for who knows if the commentary I type out is right or wrong? Now, back to our program...)

This same thought process can then be applied to you as well. You being the “evil one” is your own perspective. Many people feel “picked on”, or even that they cannot do anything right in the eyes of their parents. Many people have shields in place and they perceive everything as an affront to them personally.

I operate under my own rulebook, primarily that I don't give a crap what people think about me (to a point). There was a quote from someplace that I don't recall about people cannot do anything to you that you don't allow. Meaning? That if you think you are being treated like the evil child then you are letting people do this to you.

When someone treats me poorly, or makes some snide comment that might offend a weaker person, I let it roll off of me “like water off a duck”. Do you remember the saying as a child that, “I'm rubber and your glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you”? There is a lot of wisdom in many old sayings.

I also explained to my daughters the saying that, “It takes two to tango.” Any time there is an argument between two people, whether family, coworkers, or strangers, it always takes two people. A commercial on television where one person is wearing some jell-based shoe inserts, and no matter what happens to them they are cool with it because they are “Jellin'”, is what I am talking about. There is a radio version of this commercial where a waitress dumps coffee in a guys lap, and “even though there is considerable redness and swellin'”, he's still OK because he's jellin'.

Through the years I have known folks that feel picked on, or can't gracefully exit from an argument, or maybe even dwell on things and can't release the negative thoughts effectively. I have tried to help people to see life as I do, but it's a difficult thing to pass along. Everyone has grown up with their own minds, and I'm not smart enough to know how our individual minds work. It's easy for me to say, just ignore an insult, or forget about a family spat that happened yesterday, but it's another thing for you to actually be able to do that for yourself.

Can I toss yet another colloquialism in here?

Rule #1: Don't sweat the small stuff.
Rule #2: It's all small stuff.

Never get so wrapped up in what other people think that it affects you emotionally and you should find yourself to no longer be the “evil child”, but the child that is now doing her own thing, standing firm on her beliefs and with her family, and to hell with what anyone else thinks of her. You're no longer anyone's mental play thing. If a poorly phrased comment is made by someone, ignore it and move along. Don't argue, don't “cop and attitude”, and most of all don't dwell on it. Just act like “there's nothing to see here, move along...”

By not acknowledging the attempted assault on your psyche, you remove the power the assault has on you, and effectively defending yourself against further annoyances caused by the assault. Instead, let it roll off you, and think about something more pleasant like your children, or the upcoming holidays.

Another quote I love to whip out in articles like this is the one from the Kung Fu television series, “If I worry, will the future change?” The moral here is that keeping things inside and dwelling on them will serve no purpose other then to destroy you from the inside. Cast out the bad thoughts and move along in your happy place. :)

If you find yourself upset because something happened between you an another person, the best way to feel better is to swallow your pride and apologize. You don't have to admit the other person is right, just that you're sorry for getting upset about the topic the disagreement was over.

There is nothing harder in the world, it seems, then to apologize to someone else, especially if that person has some authority over you such as a boss or parent. In the end, when the apology is accepted (or frankly even if it isn't), I know you will feel better for having made the effort.

Focus on the good and happy things, and ignore and remove the negative things that make you grumpy. Would you like to buy some rose colored glasses?


  1. Rule #1: Don't sweat the small stuff.
    Rule #2: It's all small stuff.

    Now that's some real good advice. Matter of fact this whole post contained great advice. Thanks. Now let me read it again and make sure I soak up all the valuable advice.

  2. I think good advice is all around us, we just have to open our eyes and look.

    My wife teases me because I relate a lot of things to what I have seen on a television show or in a movie, and I got into a discussion one time from someone stating that quoting a movie character is silly.

    To me, no matter if the advice comes from your grandparents or the writer of a television show or movie, if it's good advice and applicable to a situation, then there is nothing wrong with its use.

    One of my favorite quotes is from a little green Muppet. No, not Kermit, but Yoda. He said, "Do, or do not. There is no try." A great line I use on my daughters all of the time.