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While it’s not likely that a few weeks ago, the writers of an SNL sketch with the hilarious cast member Pete Davidson and superb actor Benedict Cumberbatch meant for the skit to be taken as a lesson on how one can have less holiday family drama – but, that is exactly what it was for me.
In the bit, Benedict portrays a young college professor who is whining and complaining about his life, his job and sexual confusion to a student (played by Davidson). What made the skit funny is the student’s responses to the professor’s statements and questions. No matter what the professor said, the student’s response was usually either, “OK!” “My bad!” or the occasional “No, thanks!” “Wow!” or similar.
This student did not allow himself to get caught up in the professor’s personal drama. And because there was no additional drama added by the student, at the end of the skit, the professor finds peace and the student goes on his merry way. No additional drama… no problems…. peace.
Now could this work in real life? Well, let me tell you, the other day, someone made a statement to me with which I didn’t agree. But, instead of sharing my counter view and allowing myself to be pulled into this person’s issues/drama, I remembered the skit and the student’s response.
So, I just replied to the other person with “OK!” That was it… just “OK.” The other person made a few more argumentative baiting statements to which I just replied with “Oh, wow! Cool.” The instigator had no idea how to respond to me and so with no drama, he just walked away. The possible argument was averted.
I thought to myself, “Interesting. That worked. I’ll have to remember that.”
In fact, I used the same kind of response “OK!” “No, thanks!” “Wow!” etc. throughout the day. For example, while checking out Facebook, I ran into a number of negative posts from my so-called “Facebook friends.” But, instead of making sharp retorts (that would not change anything or any person’s beliefs or opinions and just reinforce the negativity), I just said to myself, “No, thanks!” and flipped by the negativity. Wow … that felt good!
Then, at the end of the day, I put it to the ultimate test. I was just pushing my cart into the check-out stand at the grocery store when another shopper edged past me and cut in line. While placing her items on the conveyor belt, she looked at me and said, “Sorry, I’m in a hurry.”
Now, the general response to this type of behavior would more than likely be unkind; however, I just said, “OK.” When I did that, the shopper looked at me in disbelief. She then started to explain to me why her time was incredibly important and at the end of her diatribe she asked, “You know what I mean.” To which, I replied, “Cool.”
Nothing further was said, that is, until she was done with her transaction, had her groceries bagged and was ready to walk away from the checkout. She looked at me, took a deep breath and said, “You know what – I was rude. I shouldn’t have done that. I apologize.” I smiled at her and said, “No problem.” She smiled back, said “Thank you” and left.
Again, WOW … that felt great. It was no problem, because it really WAS no problem to have her cut in front of me, and I didn’t make it INTO a problem. Throughout the day, I didn’t get caught up in other people’s dramas… or my own. And – at the end of the day – I actually felt more peaceful.
Now, imagine your family holiday get together this year. This year – especially this year – it’s not like it’s just going to be crazy… it’s going to get bat-shit crazy. Lots of opinions and flapping of the jaw. So, you have a choice: you can jump in to the drama or stand back and just let everybody get all crazy.
Personally, I don’t need to get “bad” crazy with other people. I like the feeling of peace. I like that far more than anger or negativity. I don’t like and don’t need to get caught up in other people’s drama.
So, during this holiday, why not give the “Ok,” Wow” or maybe, “Interesting…” a whirl, instead of firing back with your own opinon and getting sucked into the drama.
And, I know you may say that that wouldn’t work with your family or your friends or anyone else you know. You may say that what I just wrote was stupid and so on. My response? “OK.”
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