4 Ways My Parents Taught Me To ‘Be The Example’
“Be the example.”
This is the phrase I heard all too often from my parents when I was a teenager going through the motions of high school hilarity. Gossip, rude comments, jealousy, anger, cattiness – there was always something brilliant to complain to my parents about. Complaining is really just transference; we want the person we are complaining to to feel as outraged as we are. That way, we can take some of the weight off of ourselves. But instead, my parents always said the same thing…
“Be the example.” Today, after a few years down the road, I have begun to see the effect those small seemingly insignificant choices they advised me to make have changed the dynamic of my relationships.
Here are 4 things they taught me to implicate:
1. Own your decisions. Whether the outcome was good, bad, or somewhere in the middle, I needed to take responsibility for the choices I had made. It’s no secret that none of us have carved a perfect path through life – bumps and roadblocks are everywhere. But someone who owns up when they make a mistake is greatly respected more than the person who blames anyone or anything for their mishap. A humble heart is important, but recognizing one’s achievements when pointed out by others is important for the soul, too. Sometimes, we do get things right!
2. Always have the best attitude. Unless you’re naturally bouncing off the walls, no one is asking you be the loudest and most exciting person in the room. The key is choosing to have a positive outlook on a situation, no matter how bleak. This doesn’t mean lying about something that doesn’t suit you; it’s about seeking the good in the bad. Once one person in a group says something negative, everyone takes that as permission to be negative about that person/place/thing as well. It’s a domino effect. Take that Psychology and flip it – be somebody who people want to be around. Always leave people feeling better than when you weren’t there.
3. Take care of your ‘outsides’ as well as your ‘insides’. This doesn’t mean wearing a dress or a tie everyday, if that isn’t what you prefer. This means investing in your appearance the way YOU feel most beautiful. Showering and brushing your teeth is a pretty universal start. In whatever way it pertains to you, being comfortable and feeling fabulous on the outside heightens our confidence and shines outwardly to others. Whether we like it or not, first impressions are our appearance. So learn to love your own.
4. Speak only positively about the people you care about. Protect your own. Talk to others about the things you like about your friends, family, and colleagues, etc. The more we trash talk others, the more ammo we give others to trash talk about us.
I’m glad I decided to change and began to alter the bad habits I had developed involving my interaction with others. It always pays to be classy. Just remember:
Be the example.