I had a thought the other day, while driving home from work: ‘Why the hell didn’t that guy use his blinker?? It literally takes 1/4 of an ounce of effort from one friggin’ finger!! … oh, he was texting. Clearly you can’t be bothered to stop typing your text long enough to inform other drivers of your intent to turn.’
After that thought, I had another one: ‘If I wasn’t me, would I hang out with me?’
Random, I know, but a valid question that I feel like everyone should consider. When I asked, most people said they’d hang out with themselves. My wife said, “of course I’d hang out with me because I’m awesome and fun!” She’s correct. But then she added “… but I always flake on plans, so that part of hanging out with me would suck.” Also correct.
I already knew the answer before I asked my daughter. This girl’s confidence is unprecedented. But she’s right. She prides herself on being a good friend. I know I’m biased, but I also don’t mind calling out my kid when necessary. My oldest son felt like he would hang out with himself, as well.
Then I asked the youngest. He surprised me. He said he would and then thought, ‘Well, I can be a little bossy.’ That’s quite an observation for a 9-year-old. But it made me proud. He wasn’t upset or beating himself up about it. It was more matter-of-fact, like, ‘I can work on this.’ I guess my surprise came from the fact that this mature, self-realization came just minutes after he was singing a song about wieners and farts.
But these are the things I try to teach my kids. Not the wieners and farts song, but ‘What kind of person are you, and what kind of person do you want to be?’
As for myself? I was surprised to say that maybe I wouldn’t hang out with myself, at least, not lately. It’s not that I’m a bad person… it’s just that lately, I’ve been moody and a little negative.
I’m not quite sure what it is that’s got my proverbial panties in a wad, but it’s a thing. And I’m not sure of anyone who enjoys hanging around with someone who is negative all the time. Even Tigger, Pooh and Piglet dreaded the sight of Eeyore walking toward them. Oh, sure, when the cameras were on, it was all, “hey, Eeyore, let’s cheer you up,” but behind the scenes, it was different. “uuugggggghhhhhh, here comes Eeyore … I wonder why his world is miserable today.” It’s minor and fixable, which is the whole point behind the exercise.
Give it a try. I mean, you don’t have to go all Buffalo Bill, but put the lipstick down and ask yourself: “Would I hang out with me?” You might be surprised at the difference of the person you think you are vs. the person you project. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can take it a step further: ‘Would I marry me?’ I mean, I have my stunning ai-ight looks, my rock hard dad bod and flowing Costanza coif… Y’know, I’d marry the hell outta me, no question!