At some point in my life, I decided to not filter positive comments that pop into my head.
I use filters on a great deal of negative things, but not the positive stuff. Not any more. I simply got tired of watching as we spew out expletives at anyone cutting us off in traffic, while at the same time having a hard time even giving a simple thank you head nod to someone who courteously lets us into that same traffic!
Therefore, if “I love you” pops in my head, it’s coming out of my mouth. If a beautiful waitress comes to my table and “wow, you’re beautiful” pops in my head, it’s coming out of my mouth. It doesn’t matter if my wife is with me or not. I’m very comfortable doing it, because it’s real. I’m not faking it.
Yesterday, as I walked by a table of attractive older women, “wow, that’s a very attractive group of women” popped into my head. I stopped before passing their table and said, “wow, you are a very attractive group of women.” A couple of them smiled and thanked me and I walked away.
But as I strolled towards the coffee dispensers, I could hear one woman say, “I don’t like what he just did.” I couldn’t make out every word she said, but I knew that somehow I had offended her. That certainly wasn’t my intention.
I was in a business meeting at the time, but on the way back to my table I stopped again. I said, “so it seems one of you is not happy with being called beautiful.” The woman whose comment I heard spoke up and said, “I don’t want your pity. You don’t need to try and make a bunch of old ladies feel good.” I knew right away that this was going to require some real conversation, so I asked if I could pull up a chair.
I won’t detail the entire conversation, but I let this very attractive woman know that I was serious. She didn’t think I would walk by a table of 30 something women and say the same thing. She obviously doesn’t know me very well and I told her so. I sincerely found them an attractive group of women on many levels and I know she finally understood that I was in not patronizing her. Her image is still in my head. She is indeed attractive.
Here’s the best thing about not filtering the good stuff.
When I let the good stuff out, good stuff comes back. As we sat and talked, it came out that this group of women had been meeting for 18 years. They were writers. I innocently asked them if they had blogs. They did not. Instantly I knew why I was meant to sit down at their table with them. These women, many of them published authors, needed to be on the Internet. Their voices needed to be heard. So, I’m going to help them get their voices on the Internet.
When I finally made it back to my table to finish my meeting, I was filled with energy. The thought of their voices finally make it onto the web thrilled me. With any luck, some of them will soon read this post. With a bit more luck, they will be writing their own posts and this wonderful world wide web will have a few more voices to add to the mix.
All because I don’t filter the positive stuff. Don’t filter the positive stuff.