How many times have you had a WHOLE conversation where you talked only about happy things? Not many, if you’re anything like me. BUT it’s something I’m making a concerted effort to change.
Talking about happy things doesn’t mean writing off the rants about how you feel unappreciated at work (and your friend checks their watch surreptitiously between “aww” and “uha” and “yeah, that’s totally unfair). What it does mean, is shifting our purpose from seeking validation of our feelings to dealing effectively with our issues. And this validation is normal. But that doesn’t mean it’s good (and some might argue being ‘normal’ is solid ground for being decidedly not good).
I find that sometimes I’ll complain, or rant, and all I really want is the poor-person-who-has-to-put-up-with-me’s approval. That’s not healthy. I know that. But in that moment of anger / frustration / sadness / self-righteousness (or, more likely, all of the above), all I want is validation.
Like the other day, we had a meeting, and with a group of teachers around a table, you KNOW there’s gonna be some power struggles (the teaching profession seems to attract control-freak-types, myself included).
We started talking about the different systems of education and assessment we’ve had in New Zealand over the years (NCEA, School C & Bursary, Cambridge, IB – currently NCEA). Pretty much each person had their own view of what system was ‘right’ (fair enough) and usually it was the system they went through, with a few minor changes (also the case with political voting & parenting style, but that’s a discussion for another day). I found it hard not to put my own two-cents’-worth into the babble, but did hold back somewhat. I even tried to generate discussion about what we can do from here – I mean, we’re stuck with the system we’re stuck with, and wishful thinking isn’t going to help anyone. Especially our students. Which is why we do what we do.
I KNOW I could’ve done more in that meeting, but I am a little bit proud I was able to put an ounce of positivity & proactiveness in 🙂
Anyway, my point is: how much more beneficial would that meeting have been if we had decided to talk about happy things, instead of complaining? What about how great it is that we have such a wide range of experience among us, and we can use that to balance out the limitations of NCEA? Or how fortunate we are to have free resources at our fingertips to learn, teach, and upskill? Or how exciting it is to make a difference to the students who would not realise their potential without us?
Shift your conversation: talk about happy things!
This post is shared at Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop