-[ruthie’s] guest post friday-

My portion of the alphabetical advice. This was originally shared as a guest post on Sarah’s blog, but, since they’re my words ad opinions…. a copy of it belongs on my blog too. Right? Say hello to some of the best random advice you’ve ever seen collected in one obscure spot online. 🙂

Admit when you’re wrong. And what that really means is: admit out loud, to the other person’s face, that “You were right.” You know how good it feels when someone says those words to you? It’s the best feeling ever, isn’t it? Be that person for the other people in your life.

And there’s a side benefit: If you’re the first person to bring it up, it takes away some of their gloating power later.

Be honest. Unless you don’t want anyone to like you. Or connect with you. Or trust you. Or confide in you. People are smart. And most of them are pretty good at figuring out if you’re telling them the truth or not.

If you’re already an honest person, try taking it to the next step. Practice a little vulnerability. You might be surprised how your relationships change when you give people a peek into the broken spaces of your life. It’s in those broken places that people connect with you. They recognize the jagged edges from their own experiences and they will start to feel at home in your presence.

At first vulnerability feels like a weakness; after a bit it starts to feel like a secret weapon. Use it.

Choose color. You only get to live life once. Fill it with color. And don’t make all those colors coordinate perfectly. Let something clash once in awhile. It keeps life interesting.

Don’t post kissing pictures online. We don’t want to see that. Just leave those photos filed away on your hard drive unless you’re kissing:
a) your spouse
b) a family member
c) a baby
d) an animal

Wait. Scratch that last one. Looking at you sucking down your pet’s saliva is enough to trigger sensitive gag reflexes all over the nation. Please- skip those too.

But, in all seriousness, the pictures you post of you kissing your current boyfriend/girlfriend will most likely still be around 5-10 years down the road when you’re with someone else. The future love of your life would appreciate not having your old romances dragged out into the light of day during a random internet search.

And if you aren’t worried about your future partner’s feelings, think about the adults in your life. Your grandparents, aunts & uncles, all those older people who’ve known you since you were in diapers. They really don’t want to think about what you and your significant other are doing in your alone time. Maybe just stick with a cute couple selfie once in a while – with both of you smiling at the camera. That’s really all the rest of us want to see. I promise.

Everyone is thinking about themselves more than they’re thinking about you. Don’t worry too much about other people’s opinions. One of the sad facts of human nature is that we’re depressingly self-centered. We notice all of our own imperfections, but we miss a lot of the flaws in the people around us. Until they point them out.

And while we’re on that topic… (I love a free chance to hand out advice!) Don’t point out your flaws to other people expecting them to contradict you and tell you how beautiful/wonderful/not-in-need-of-any-changes you are. There’s a good chance they didn’t even notice that you need to lose weight or have thinning hair or jiggly arms. But now that you’ve pointed it out to them, they’re not going to stop noticing. You’ve stuck that “flaw” in their head and from here on out they’re going to think of you when they see ads for hair growth hormones or sure-fire diet plans.

Find a good hairstylist. When you feel good about the way you look, you’re happier, you live life with more confidence, and you treat other people better. Find someone that makes your hair look good and stick with them. Don’t expect perfection the very first time – give them a cut or two to get to know your hair – and be sure to tell them what you want. Good hair is a life-changer.

Go to the beach. While you’re there, spend some time alone at the water’s edge. You’ll feel alive there. And small. Feeling small is a vital part of a life well-lived. It’s okay to be small and insignificant. It’s what we are. But when you’re about to drown in feelings of insignificance, go build a sandcastle – and crush it. With your bare hands. Isn’t that beautiful?

Hurrying doesn’t always get you there faster. Sometimes it gets you killed. Well, okay. Not sometimes plural. Getting killed only happens once to each of us. The point is, slow down, take your time, enjoy the moment.

Remember this when you’re running late. There are only a certain number of minutes you can shave off your driving time by going over the speed limit anyway.

Remember this when you’re raising kids. There is always going to be an amazing new stage to look forward to. Feel free to be excited about the next thing, but don’t forget to live in the moment. All your kid really knows is the present and how you’re treating them right now.

Remember this when you’re working on a project. When you take your time, you’ll get the details right. When you hurry, you inevitably make dumb mistakes and end up wasting lots of time trying to fix them. (Or is that just me?)

Ignore the jerks in life. And on the internet. Especially on the internet. All those people who leave anger-inspiring comments on controversial articles and youtube videos? Are they really worth your emotion? Seriously. You are never going to change their minds. You are never even going to meet them. If you did, they probably wouldn’t even look you in the eye, because the only reason those people are confrontational on the internet is because they’re scared to be in real life. I know this because they’re a lot like me. We have the same tendencies.

And the jerks in real life? They’re a lot like those online jerks. Everyone has a story. Every jerk has a reason for being a jerk. If you could ignore their hatefulness long enough to start a real conversation with them, you would eventually find some kind of hurt buried down there beneath the mean or insensitive front they’re showing. Get a glimpse of their pain and you just might start to feel some compassion. And maybe you’ll never get to have that conversation. Remind yourself that you don’t know what’s buried beneath their jerk exterior. Have a little compassion. Compassion wins every time.

______________________________________

to find letters J-R of this trifecta mess of advice, click here.

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About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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