Do you remember when you were a kid and you were forced to apologize to someone? Do you remember how the apology stuck to the back of your throat and how painful it was to force it from your mouth only to be told: Say it nice or Say it like you mean it?
You did apologize, after all, and amazingly it did fix the situation (even though you knew you didn’t really feel sorry).
We all have people we encounter everyday for good, better, bad, or worse. Our friends, co-workers, frenemies, etc. Are these encounters by chance or can this be controlled?
My daughter, Michelle, and I have a brainstorming session every Tuesday morning (her Tuesday night). Because she is presently in Japan, she has much to deal with in the way of culture and language, not just with the Japanese but other students of other nations. She’s had to deal with prejudice against Americans, something she has never experienced before. She was in a class of international students who were very vocal on their prejudice. During one of our brainstorming sessions, we wanted to try a little experiment. What if we talked about how great these students are and how wonderful their countries were? Would this create a good vibration with these students and make their encounters easier? Michelle started to say something nice about one of the students, but you could tell it was difficult to get nice words out of her mouth about people who had openly slammed her, but she did it. We continued to talk a little about the countries, and I looked up some interesting facts about each country. I was feeling good about the situation, but then, I wasn’t the one in this situation. Michelle was uneasy, but was able to work on it for a while. We called the process, for lack of a better term, Doo-Voo. Just the opposite of putting a hex on someone, we showered them instead with nice ju-ju.
A similar situation occurred with my other daughter, Joy. She had an acquaintance she hadn’t seen in a while text her phone. She wasn’t interested in re-establishing contact with this person, but me, fresh from the session with Michelle, suggested we Doo-Voo her, also. Joy did speak some nice words to the ether about this person. She wasn’t too happy, but did she it. She also wasn’t too happy the next day to see the girl had texted her again, already.
A few weeks later, Michelle reported that she was in class one day and another American student was making a scene in class. Michelle was thinking it only served to reveal the ugliness of Americans. After class, however, the foreign students came up to her and mentioned the other student was why they didn’t like Americans. They said that they really liked her and invited her to a party!
Here’s what may be concluded from this experiment, and if you play around with this tell us what you were trying to accomplish and what you did.
- Talking about a person, good or bad, will bring them into contact with you.
- If you don’t want contact with the person, focus your attention on people you do want. This will create a kind of force field they cannot enter.
- If you are going to be in contact with someone in a class, business situation, or family get together, the Doo-Voo method will really help smooth the encounter.
- The second you say this doesn’t work-it doesn’t work.
If you truly do not want to be in contact with someone you have to get to a place mentally where you do not care whether you see them or not. Disinterest and apathy are your strongest weapons. If you have to be in contact with someone with whom you would rather not, grit your teeth and spit out that apology.