The Art of Nope
One of the things we like to say around our house is Lana Kane’s (from Archer) ‘Nooope’ whenever we encounter fuckery of any sort. Sometimes it pairs well with ‘Not today Satan!’ or ‘Devil I know your name.’ Basically, whatever you’re thinking of throwing my way I am not having. Now, we have a new non-verbal one. In Stranger Things, there’s a scene where Mike is trying to explain to his parents how his friend’s disappearance isn’t him mucking about as his dad suggests. You can see the moment when he tries to respond to his dad’s utterly useless theory but decides not to. He opens his mouth to begin to say something, thinks better of it then raises his hands and drops them as if to say ‘Nope, I am not getting into this with you’. It’s the best.
This morning, I accidentally stumbled upon an a-ha moment on the way to work. Or maybe it was two. How many times has someone said something to you, about you, that you’ve had an immediate (sometimes emotionally violent) reaction to? Here, I’ll show you.
Other person: You look tired.
You know you aren’t. In fact, this morning you woke up feeling the best in weeks! You even spent a little extra time putting on some make up to make your eyes pop. Tired? Far from it. Your reaction?
You: No I don’t. In fact I feel really good this morning. You can’t see how fresh I look? I even ran this morning! I’ve been running lately and the exercise has been really good for me. You should consider exercising. It will do wonders for you!
Ugh. Did you cringe at the familiarity of that? You have over explained yourself over something that is rather unimportant and while doing it, you’ve taken someone down. You’ve told them they should exercise. A subtle jab back for them telling you you’re tired? Possibly. Then you spend the whole day looking at your face in the mirror. Do you really look tired? Before you know it, it’s five o’clock and you just wasted a day feeling like shit. How should you have handled it?
Other person: You look tired.
You: Oh yeah? *Walk away*
Level expert: Just what I was going for! *High five them then walk away* (Confuse them).
The point here is to never spend a moment longer than you need to trying to convince someone to see things from your point of view. It will never happen. In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy there is this gem:
You cannot see what I see because you see what you see. You cannot know what I know because you know what you know. What I see and what I know cannot be added to what you see and what you know because they are not of the same kind. Neither can it replace what you see and what you know because to do so would replace you yourself.
Here’s something else for you to think about today. There are people who just say things to say them. There are others who say things to rile you up. And sadly, there are people who say things to you because they are a point of shame for themselves. Think about that. Dr. Brene Brown has this brilliant quote in her book Daring Greatly:
“…research tells us that we judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we’re doing. If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived shaming deficiency.”
Do not give energy to things or people that you cannot change. It only wastes you. So next time, you find yourself about to react to something: