Have you ever been called something you aren’t?
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never harm me.”
I was called lazy. And it hurt.
[Mini Lesson] In full disclosure my first attempt at writing this blog was a rage-write. Meaning, I let my emotions flow – raw and unedited. The rules of grammar left and for a full thirty minutes as I wrote. It was very therapeutic, and what I wrote is something that not even I will read again. I deleted it out of my system.
Lazy is a word that I’d never associate myself with – ever. I’ve worked my entire career, well honestly even before that to build my brand. I think people forget how powerful words are. Words are swords that can cut deeper than most other tools. Words allow people to form impressions, change a mood, and they can provide a high. If you buy into the words someone says about you, then you give them power especially when the words are negative.
There were three of us having a conversation. I knew one of the people and was meeting the other person for the first time. Right after I was called lazy, I felt like crawling into a hole. There was an awkward silence, and a joke was made to try to move past the moment. So much for a good first impression. I knew I had to hold composure and not react. (Which is what I did even though I was hurting.) As you might recall in my earmuffs blog, a situation occurred where I didn’t react – but always kicked myself for not addressing the situation later.
Ladies, I took my advice and addressed the situation. I got my chance to calmly ask the person who called me lazy — “why”?
The discussion went so much better than I could’ve expected. It turns out that the intent was to be funny (poorly executed and not in the right moment). I hadn’t done anything to give off a lazy vibe. The person had no idea how I felt and gave me a sincere apology. Our relationship improved and the conversation was worth it.
I urge you in all situations to take the “moment” you need to process. Allow yourself to figure out what your end goal is and what you want from the person. You need to be in a place where you can speak without raw emotion, and you need to be able to hear the person openly without judgment.
We all say stupid things – or things that come across horribly (#insertfootinmouth). Hang in there, stay strong and remember you’ve built a personal brand – react to situations in a way that you'd be proud of, and that represents your brand.