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People are Hard.

Here’s my challenge:

For the next seven days: Laugh when you fall, listen to a song you love to get you in a good mood in the morning. Look at the humanity around you and take in all that you see. Really look at people. Smile at them. They have wept for someone, they have fallen down, they have been called names, lied to, and hurt just like you have. And they are out working, learning, and trying to be happy, just like you are. So give yourself a reason to smile for the next seven days, and try to share that happiness with the people around you.

Spread the word: Use the #7daysmile and challenge you friends. You might start a conversation that you never knew you needed.

People.

People are hard. I used to like to say that I expect the same of others that I expect from myself. However, that’s not fair. I can’t expect someone to be me, or react the same way I would in a situation. And anyway, I’m not so perfect, that I should hold people to my standards.

How do you have standards, and still manage to accept people for who they are?

Some people you can’t trust, some people don’t understand certain social cues or qualms you have. Most of us know at least one of these people. And even though it’s hard we really can’t expect people to think a certain way or do a certain thing unless we say it verbatim to them. This isn’t lowering your expectations, it’s just a simple way to re-evaluate how you communicate to someone else.

Standards

Standards are important, they keep you from getting stepped-on, used, manipulated, and they give you a meter by which to judge right and wrong. For example: Most of us would agree that if your roommate asks for something before using/borrowing it, then it’s no big deal. But what if they abuse this? A roommate using some of your milk from the fridge, you may or may not address them about it. But your roommate drinking all of your milk after asking to borrow some is aggravating, but what can you do if you gave them permission? The standard was supposed to help you from getting used, but in most cases it comes down to choosing your battles. And picking good roommates. The key to a good roommate (or relationship) is feeling comfortable enough with them that you can communicate your standards in an amicable way that doesn’t sound like you are being a nag. And being open to hearing their standards, even asking them about them, because most people will keep it bottled up.

Get Down to Business

When you really step back, and want to change your view of people you need to ask yourself this question: Who defines your happiness?

The answer should be ‘you’.

Look around you and think about all of the things bothering you.

Those things are now defining your happiness, choking it and confining it to such tight constraints that it has little hope of survival. If I let my happiness be controlled by the things that irk, pester, or bug me, I would need everything to be scrubbed with bleach, my food under lock and key, and I would never be able to date anyone. There’s a sense of control in that imaginary world, however it’s lonely and boring.

So every day I have to remind myself that my happiness is defined by me, and no one else. It’s not easy, when people push you to get on the train, don’t respond to texts, lie to your face or don’t respect your personal space.

The Real World 

Working in a assisted living facility isn’t always easy. It’s very stressful. What makes it worthwhile are the moments right after a high stress incident. I have to sit back down at my desk and gather myself. I look up and usually a resident will walk by just when I need a moment to breathe, and without fail they will tell me a joke or give me a reason to smile. It’s incredible really how much strength I find in them. I see in their iron clad spirits that whatever I am going through cannot be that bad. And even if it is, it won’t break me. So I smile and do a little dance, and maybe a resident will dance with me and all is right in the world. It’s that easy. People might be hard, but overcoming it makes you the strongest person in the room.

Here’s my challenge:

For the next seven days: Laugh when you fall, listen to a song you love to get you in a good mood in the morning. Look at the humanity around you and take in all that you see. Really look at people. Smile at them. They have wept for someone, they have fallen down, they have been called names, lied to, and hurt just like you have. And they are out working, learning, and trying to be happy, just like you are. So give yourself a reason to smile for the next seven days, and try to share that happiness with the people around you.

Spread the word: Use the #7daysmile and challenge you friends. You might start a conversation that you never knew you needed.