Tag Archives: dealing

A Bologna Sandwich

6 Jan

Sometimes, when you’re grieving, that’s all it takes.

Only a few days after my dad passed away, my mom made lunch for everyone. It just so happened that she was making fried bologna sandwiches, a childhood favorite of mine. If you haven’t had it, try it! It’s pretty damned good.

I put my sandwich together, held it in one hand and went to grab a plate. I looked down at it for a second, looked up at my mom and all I had to say was “This reminds me of Dad” to start to well up with tears. It’s true though, he was always the one who made them for lunch.

To stop myself from completely crying, I had to go so far as to set the sandwich down. I told me mom “The last thing I need to do is cry over a damn bologna sandwich”.

My father’s death was expected. And at least for me, it isn’t the day to day monotony that makes me sad or overwhelms me, or even talking about it – it’s the little things that unexpectedly pop up that you aren’t prepared for that upset me. A song, a trinket, a memory…a sandwich. That is really all it takes.

But I’m doing okay.

How to Better Deal with Criticism

4 Oct

If there is one skill that you have in your arsenal for dealing with people both professionally and personally it should definitely be an ability to handle criticism with grace.

It’s human nature to get irritate, angry, mad, or even furious if someone is critical of you, albeit constructive or otherwise. We naturally think the way we do things is the best way, and when someone tells us we aren’t the best, well…it makes us mad.

The best way to handle criticism is to first calm yourself. By realizing you have become angry, you can better calm yourself down in order to think about the criticism itself – not that someone criticized you. Once you are calm, you should take a moment to understand that no one is perfect, and that this could be an opportunity to improve yourself.

Once you are calm, think about what the criticism was about. Did the other person have a point? Was it something you could actually improve? The likely answer to both of those questions is yes. If this is the case, it will ease both parties if you thank them for their criticism. They could have not said anything and seethed privately and you wouldn’t have had any opportunity to improve. Once you thank them and tell them they had a point, you might choose to elaborate on why you chose to do something the way you did, but be careful to not be defensive. If you think you will sound defensive, then it might be better to not say anything at all. Remember: stay calm and don’t be angry or respond in anger.

Once you have acknowledge the criticism at hand, make improvements. The person dealing out the criticism likely had a reason. But don’t dwell on the criticism…let it go. It’s more than likely that the other person didn’t mean any harm.

What do you do to handle criticism gracefully? I always try to, but often I fail and internalize it – any suggestions? 

How I Deal With Being Socially Awwkward

3 Jun

There are so many different types of socially awkward, that I can’t blog about every single one. They range from socially inept, to delightfully out-of-touch. It has a little bit to do with who you are, and a lot to do with how you treat it.

I’m definitely more toward the “delightfully out-of-touch” but I’m not quite there. Honestly, I really embrace my awkwardness; I revel in awkward moments, but I also find delight in the fact that I can turn them around and use them to my advantage. How do I deal?

Well, first I usually announce that I’m socially awkward. Its something along the lines of “Pardon my social awkwardness.” This relieves any pressure I have by my peers to be anything other than awkward. Then, I live it up! Random questions that have nothing to do with the task at hand? I’m a pro! Inability to enjoy small talk with my peers? Not a problem, just apologize and make an awkward joke! Those awkward moments of silence? I got it…respond with “Well…This is awkward…”

A great example of this is my “performance” at the Christmas party at work. Yes, the work Christmas party. Now, I’m not any good at mingling. I may go “stag” to almost every event I attend, but I usually find one person I know and glue myself to their side. This was a perfect opportunity to “mingle”! I was in good spirits, and as I chose my seat, a couple of the new girls had hoped I’d sit with them, but someone had already sat down. No big deal for the socially awkward me! I ate my food, talked a little bit, and then left to sit with them. My line of the night: “Don’t mind me, I’m just pretending I’m not socially awkward and ‘mingling’.” That allowed me enough wiggle room to bounce back and forth between the two tables easily, but also let me make jokes about how socially awkward I am.

This brings me back to my first point. There are different types of socially awkward. I work with animals, and let me just say that animal people, more often than not, are socially awkward on some level. I work with some people who I’d think were lying if they said they were awkward, but most are at least to some degree.

So I may not be socially inept, but I like being awkward. I use it to my advantage, and I enjoy it!

Are you socially awkward? How do you deal with it? If you aren’t, how do socially awkward people make you feel?