Monday, April 19, 2010
Blow Men Off No More...My Disco Epiphany to World Peace.
Last night I was celebrating my friend's birthday at an East Village spot. A great Whitney Houston song came on that triggered all females to jump up and dance. (Meanwhile, the men just looked at each other and said, "Who actually likes this song?")
Anyway, I happened to be in the back far away from the dance floor, but I couldn't resist getting down, even if it was all by myself. I was in my groove (yes, Stella got her groove back) when some very cute boy (literally) approached me. The exchange went something like this:
MY INITIAL THOUGHT: Does this boy even shave? Right now I'm not really feeling like being social. But let's see...I'll be curious and give him a minute to see where this goes.
WE CHIT CHAT FOR A MINUTE.
NEXT THOUGHT: He's obviously a nice guy and very brave for coming over. An 'A' for effort. If only you were 10 years older, this could be fun.
I SAY: Well, thank you so much for coming over here and keeping me company on the dance floor. It's very brave and sweet of you. I pat his arm, and give him the signal that we're about done. I sincerely meant what I said and I think he really received that intention. He looked at me appreciatively, gave a little nod, shy smile, and walked away.
I thought that went well and I felt really good about the exchange. It felt nice being nice. I actually felt like I did a good deed. No need to be a biotch if you're not interested.
That then inspired me to reach out to someone who had been pursuing me and who I left hanging via text. I'd been deliberating whether or not it was better to just not respond or to face the situation. Which would be less bruising to the ego? But after last night I decided that leaving someone hanging isn't a reflection of what I want to be about. If I'm about connectedness and the value of every human being - than being too cool for school is not the way.
So I contacted the guy and that exchange went brilliantly. It has now sent me on a kick of reinforcement that being nice is not only nice, but effective. In fact, being honest about my feelings with both guys made me feel closer to them.
I know my experience on the dance floor can't possibly compare to nations at war. But there is a kernel of grander truth that shimmered for me in the dark, dirty downtown spot, at 3am, over Whitney Houston...and that was golden rule. Perhaps the secret to world peace revealed itself to me in a profound way - as I practiced what I was taught since I was little - treat others how you want to be treated. If we all worked up the patience and the guts to share our differences and varied intentions out loud, with respect, and honesty, I think we all might feel more connected, more love, and even a little sexier.
P.S. Insulting someone actually activates their fight or flight hormones for 48 hours. Consistent highs in these hormones lead to all sorts of negative things like heart disease. So next time you're considering being mean, know that sticks and stones may break your bones and that words can actually hurt you. Be nice!