Thursday, December 18, 2008

Peace of Mind and Website Calm

Sometimes it is the simple things in life that are the most pleasurable. You know what I mean. Say, you've been feeling caught in a situation and somehow got into a mental zone where you just waited to see how things were going to turn out. We'll call it the Wait-and-See Mode. Yeah. That's good. But, here's the problem when we Wait-and-See: we are not participating. We are willfully becoming passive and allowing others to shape the situation.

I've experienced Wait-and-See many times in my lifetime, though friends and family would be surprised to hear me admit it. My personality is fairly strong, and my mind is always going, going, going. I am never bored. I am a good friend and listener. I am able to weigh pros and cons well, and I can read a person's character like a book very soon after meeting them. This last talent does not always serve me well, as I then have to bite my tongue and refuse to allow the words 'Uh, huh, didn't I warn you?' pass my lips.

Luckily, over the years I have learned exactly that there is a good time to Wait-and-See, and it's when others need to learn a lesson. Like the guy who sounds too good to be true? Yes, it did sound too good, and it wasn't true.

I may be able to spot trouble for others with a clear mind, but when it comes to predicting my own pitfalls, I'm not so good there. Part of my problem, I do believe, is that I am from the South. Hold on, hold on. I know it sounds like a cop-out, but if you are not from the South, you may not realize that we are taught from birth not to present difficulties for others, which explains why we are well-known for our gracious Southern manners and generosity. Don't get me wrong. We do mean to be generous and to make life easier for others, but sometimes that translates into the private conviction that we really should not speak up when another part of our self-preservation impulse is telling us to not only speak up, but be counted.

So, here is the problem. When we speak up, are we going to make another person uncomfortable? After all, this is at the heart of being a gentleman or a gentlewoman, isn't it? Who said that? Aldous Huxley? Maybe, or maybe one of his colleagues, but the idea of a code of conduct to guide our behaviour is an ideal fostered by Southern mammas across a wide geographical area, and not necessarily stopping at the Mason-Dixon line. Techincally, then, Southern manners wouldn't be attributed to folks who live in the South, but we will be gracious here and extend the definition, though we might come up with a better name for it. How about just plain ole good manners? So, the definition of good manners, then, might become behavior which does not hurt others or make them uncomfortable. I declare it so.

Plain ole good manners, then, apply in all of our relationships. Family, of course, and that's a place to employ good manners as we grow up and recognize the differences in family members. Friendships, too, deserve the very best of our good intentions, especially as we cultivate friendships to span our lifetime based on similar personalities, talents or believes in common. I have one or two friends whom I have known since pre-school days, and while we are so very different, I cherish those differences and am flattered to hear from them. I guess that's why I like Christmas cards so much.

Romantic relationships can thrive or crash because of manners and how we monitor our behavior, giving the best to our closest relationships and allowing ourselves to trust our partner. And business relationships are absolutely the place for plain ole good manners, and in every single dealing between buyers and sellers, and are just as important as personal friendships. The act of doing business should spring from the honest exchange of offer and acceptance. Someone wants something and someone else has it to offer. No need to turn away and project rejection towards the person who has something to sell, or to leave a hint of an unclear message. No need to leave a lingering negative impression in a sales situation, or even the offer. No need to tell them that you don't like their product or service. Instead, tell them it is not what you need. That's it, really. Not what you are looking for.

So, that friend who is not really a friend? They're not what you need. And that lover who betrays you? Whew! That's not what you need. Thank-you, I-wish-you-well, but, it-is-not-what-I-need-right-now. Hmmm. A good mantra!

I made a decision, and it will simplify by business and immediately it calmed my mind. I am leaving my new web design folks and going back to my old web guy. I feel so calm with this decision. No, thank you. I wish you well, but I need something else just now. Southern, yes. Plain ole good manners, I believe so.

1 comment:

Dave Daniels said...

I don't think it's so much a southern thing as a maturity thing. In life, we learn lessons about so many things. On that journey, we also learn about how we liked to be treated, and treat others in that same way. (And, yes, this comes from a rude, city-livin' New Englander!)
I applaud you in making the decision to try something, such as a new web team, and also for realizing that it wasn't the right fit for you. Your inner voice (from experience?) can be the best guide for you. And, to have your mind at ease is one of the most important things you can have: peace.