Be Excited for People…Instead of Stealing Their Joy
In the midst of people being angry and irritable about pumpkin spice lattes or Halloween candy out to soon or even (gasp!) Christmas decorations already for sale, I thought I’d share a post from my 18 Days of Encouraging Others. This is Day 5, and it’s all about being excited for other people when they’re excited about something…instead of acting like they’re idiots for taking joy and having some fun.
Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep–Romans 12:15
A year or so ago, some of my parents’ friends fulfilled a lifelong dream–they took a three-month cruise around the world. They planned and saved for years for this trip of a lifetime. When they finally made the reservations, they began to tell their friends. The most common reaction was not, “How awesome!” or “So happy for you!” It was “Why would you want to do that?” or “Three months on a boat? Will you still be speaking after it’s over?”
They were really disappointed that people weren’t as excited as they were.
Think about a time when you were really excited about something and how if felt when someone doused your fire with reasons why they would never do that, lists of all that could go wrong or advice on why you were wasting your time/money/energy. It is the opposite of encouraging. and it just sucks the excitement right out of you.
One of best ways we can encourage people is to share in their excitement–even if it’s not something we would be (or are!) as excited about.
The only time you’re ever going to see me running is if someone is chasing me…or if I missed the ice cream truck. I have no idea why someone would train for months to run 26.2 miles. Honestly, that just sounds miserable to me. But, I understand how good it feels for people to set a goal and meet it, so I wish people luck before a race and congratulate them after. Sometimes, I even go out to the race route and cheer them on.
The next time someone is excited about something that you don’t see the value in, the appeal of or the reason for, stifle your initial reaction and show some enthusiasm or interest in whatever it is that s/he is so excited about. Not only will you end up encouraging the person, you are sure to strengthen and solidify the relationship.
Isn’t that better than slamming someone for being happy about flavored coffee?
If you’d like all 18 of the Days of Encouraging Others,
you can get the e-book by clicking here.