Wise souls speak loudly in silence.
As we walk through the world, there is so much to do, think about, plan for and feel. Thus it is so easy to get caught up in our own process, not noticing who is around us and where they might be at on emotional level. So in order to not “yuck on their yum”, we need to be mindful of others’ emotional wellbeing.
This does not mean that we co-dependently put others’ needs before our own, but instead, that we pay attention to the emotional energies of the people around us.
This may feel like a challenge at times, particularly if we are preoccupied with our own stuff or feel the need to share something immediately with our loved ones, and it can be tough to find the delicate balance between trying to meet our needs and meeting the needs of those people we care about.
We’ve all been in a situation in which we’ve been in a perfectly fine mood, but then a friend or partner brings up something in that moment that we weren’t expecting, or he or she questions our excitement over something.
We’ve also all had the experience when we’ve questioned someone about a development in their lives and ruined their enjoyment or excitement, whether it be about an upcoming job (“Are you sure you want to work for that company?”), an upcoming trip (“Isn’t there a lot of instability there?), or any major life decisions (“Having children is really difficult. Moving is really tiring. Changing jobs is always hard”).
We know how we feel when we hear these types of comments, or enter into these situations, and we can probably all agree that we wouldn’t want to cause others any unnecessary emotional distress from similar comments of our own.
We’ve all had times that we’ve said something to another person, or even just around another person, without thinking through how it might affect them, however it is not okay for us to steal someone else’s joy or yum, even if it is without conscious thought.
Awareness In The Moment
Becoming aware of what we say is the only antidote to not yucking on someone else’s yum. We must get very clear with ourselves about the reason we are saying something. Of course, this is easier said than done. Here are some questions that we can use to help us to think over our past conversations, as well as to guide us going forwards:
- Is it true, and is it kind? If it’s not kind, or even with a kind intention, then we don’t need to say it. (Think of the Thailand example – why would we really want to ask someone if she is still comfortable with going? Because we are worried for her safety, or because we want to prove that we “know better”, thereby making our own ego stronger?)
My wish for you today is for you to honor another’s space and allow them to enjoy their “yum”!