I traveled to Rishon Le Zion (in Israel) tonight to attend a friend’s BBQ.
It was a great experience. I arrived early so I could have some time to connect with my friend and her family.
Along with her little sister, my friend and I went food shopping for her family.
My friend speaks pretty good English, but her sister (7 years old) only knows a few words.
Without words the little girl Yahelly and I were having fun. I was sneak attacking her with long green onions, then I spun her around while she clung to the end of the shopping cart, and I walked on my hands down one of the isles to show her a trick.
My friend Lorit asked the two of us to “get some snacks”. With Yahelly on one end of the cart facing my, we raced through the isles and found the snacks. She would pick up a bag of chips, give me a look of question, and I’d reply with a thumbs up. Then she picked up some dried apple snacks. I okayed, and then I took 20 additional bags and filled the cart. She cracked up laughing LOL!
Would you have thought that food shopping could be so fun?
Hebrew is a language that has no visual representation for those who don’t know it. If you were in a market in Italy, France, or Spain and you looked at food packaging, or tried to read the ingredients, you could at least make out a few words. At the very least you can read their alphabet. With Hebrew, it all just looks like characters. No English-looking letters (what a horrible sounding sentence LOL – “english-sounding letters”… spoiled Americans… really don’t know how good we have it sometimes).
Okay, let’s get to the point of the lesson I learned tonight… or rather yet, the insight.
So food shopping was great. I had a blast with the 2 girls.
Let’s advance a few hours and here we are at her house eating dinner. There are now 4 of Lorit’s friends and a number of family members sitting on their back patio enjoying great food and good conversation.
Earlier in the evening I had been helping unpack the groceries, prepare food for the grill, and cleaned the kitchen a bit. I don’t do it because I feel obligated… I do it simply because it feels good, and it feels right.
So then at the end of the night, after Lorit’s mom had been cleaning the mess we all made from preparing the meal, I made a comment about how we should all clear the table out back and help clean the kitchen. I mean, c’mon.. there were like 12 of us there, and to just put the entire cleanup responsibility on someone else is inappropriate and lacks empathy.
After I mentioned that we should all clean up, Lorit said “Matt.. no you’ve done too much already. Don’t worry… just relax.”
One of the guy’s chimed in, “Yea man, you’re making us look bad.”
“YOU’RE MAKING US LOOK BAD.”
What the fuck does that mean?
On the cab ride home, I repeated the phrase to myself multiple times and had some time to dig into what that person was really saying, or what they didn’t realize they were really saying.
How can someone else make you look bad?
What is really under the surface here is that my actions made someone else feel shitty about their own habits/characteristics/actions.
I didn’t make you feel bad. You feel bad about yourself already. My actions just made you realize that you need to step your game up in life and start doing the things that you feel you should.
Lesson I Learned
No one can make me feel bad, but rather, what they are doing is uncovering a truth about myself that I can work on.
Have you ever been out with friends and heard someone say “You’re making me look bad.” ? Have you used this phrase yourself?
Here is the re-frame: whatever you feel bad about is an area of your life which you can work on, and improve.
If someone else’s outfit makes you feel fat, then you need to workout more and start learning about your health. I mean… seriously, your body is the only vehicle you get to move you through this physical existence. Take care of it.
If someone else makes a powerful statement that makes what you are about to say inadequate or weak, then you can work on speaking and acting with more authenticity and honesty. Get some guts regarding your communication.
If someone else makes you feel bad because they cleaned up while you were guests at someone else’s house, then you should start to be more respectful when you visit other places. Bring a bottle of wine & don’t ask “do you need any help”… everyone says no out of politieness. Just take action and start cleaning. Take out the trash, wash the dishes, prep the meal, set the table, just do something.
The next time “someone else makes you feel bad”, take some time to reflect on your actions (or lack thereof) and start to make some changes.
When someone makes you feel bad, realize that they are doing you a favor and they are helping to “point out” some weaknesses within your character. Take action the next time you “feel bad” about yourself.
Seriously… think about feeling bad for yourself. What a WEAK MINDSET!
Don’t feel bad for yourself – take some fuckin’ action and change that shit.
Don’t be a victim.
Become the powerful person YOU ARE!
The aim here is to work on your life, improve yourself, and form good habits so that you never feel bad about yourself. All your actions, your speech, your beliefs, and your mannerisms… you should be happy about them.
Whether by action or inaction, you should aim to always feel good about yourself. When you feel bad about yourself, or someone else “makes you” feel bad, look at the situation from this new vantage point and seize an opportunity for growth.
Keep learning & keep rockin’ my friends. Talk to you soon :)