The season of crazy holiday busyness is upon us. In the evenings there will be many parties populated by people we barely know. At work there will be flurries of last chance stressful strategy sessions to plan and organize before the New Year hits. It is the time family gatherings with distant relatives we rarely see. Ah, the holidays. Tis the season of increased social interaction, of drinking and letting loose in front people who typically don’t see that side of us, of being friendly with office mates who may be surprised by who we really are underneath the safe protection of limited encounters.
During this marvelous season a dangerous combination threatens us all: increased social saturation mixed with exhaustion, over-stimulation and too much food. It’s a Disaster flavored Chex Mix which can leave in its wake horrible, terrible, no-good things. But never fear! I, your friendly neighborhood self-appointed Bishop, have one personal rule during this holiday season which I think will help us all. I have one goal in each social encounter. One small thing I try to accomplish in every conversation.
Don’t be a dick.
“Oh Bishop, my Bishop, this is an excellent goal. But how will I know when I am being a dick?” you desperately wonder.
Never fear! Learn from my personal experience. Here are seven moments when I know I’m being a dick.
- When someone is talking to me but I’m only half listening because I’m secretly attempting to tune into a completely different conversation nearby, I’m being a dick.
- When I use grandiose ideological language or make general sweeping statements concerning topics I know little about in hopes of making myself appear smarter than I am, I’m being a dick.
- When it becomes clear I’ve done something stupid, but instead of owning it I sit silently only contributing deflecting statements, seeking to keep any blame from falling on me where it rightfully belongs, I’m being a dick.
- When I make up statistics, generate false examples, or create facts on the fly in order to support my opinion in a debate, I’m being a dick.
- When I try to escape the people I’m currently in conversation with because I feel I’m too cool to invest time in them and want to move on to other people who are more at my level of awesomeness, I’m being a dick.
- When I talk shit about someone who isn’t present, shit I would never say to the person’s face, I’m being a dick.
- When I begin hoping someone will finish the lame story they are sharing so I can insert my vaguely related story I believe will improve other’s opinion of me, I’m being a dick.
There is only one remedy I know for dickish behavior: humility.
In every conversation, at every work meeting, at every party think of the people around you as more important than yourself. Everyone is amazing in their own way. Everyone has beautiful characteristics. Everyone has value. Don’t be concerned with how you are being perceived. Care not what people think of you. Rather, invest yourself in discovering what is great about others. Adopt it as your mission to make every person you encounter feel special and heard. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Take the posture of a student, not a teacher. Look for chances to serve.
This holiday season as the busyness ramps up, don’t be a dick.