You know? The tongue can be such a dangerous thing. I had another incident today of my mouth taking on a life of it's own. I was at work today talking to a co-worker and we got into this lengthy conversation about how bad our jobs were and how much it sucked and how we hated it and blah blah blah. I've told myself many times over and over again that I would no longer engage in such conversations. But there I was. For about a good hour, my co-worker and I just wouldn't quit. And the sad part about it is that I was the one doing most of the talking! There are a number of things that trouble me about this:
- I don't really hate my job. Sure, there are things that I don't like. There are things that I wish would change. But I work 4 days a week. About 20-25 hours (even though that's just office time, not including the time I put in away from the office grading papers, doing class prep, etc), and I get full-time pay. I get 3 weeks off in the winter, 7 weeks off in the summer. What do I have to complain about? Especially being that just 4 years ago at this very hour (3:00 am) I was crawling out of bed to go toss newspapers out of my window because that was my main source of income. I have come a long way. And I don't have anything to complain about. Some people don't even have jobs.
- Sitting and complaining does nothing for the situation. It's just depressing and pointless.
- It's not a good look for a Christian to be sitting around barking about all the things that are wrong with the powers that be. Oh yeah, what about all those scriptures about letting no corrupt communication come from your mouth, about singing praises throughout the day, about being an example. Gossiping and complaining throw all of that right out the window. I mean, I think it's ok to vent sometimes, but sometimes you just go too far.
- I blogged about this before but it's interesting how people tend to bond together over misery. Like I can rarely have a conversation with a co-worker about what a good day I had in class or about how great the food was at the faculty appreciation luncheon. But as soon as somebody starts talking about something negative, then everybody wants to gather around and add their "Um hums," "Yeahs," and "I feel yous." I guess it's like they say, misery loves company. And complaining about our jobs is always a good way to feel comraderie among co-workers by dragging them into misery with you.
- I told myself that I would not do this anymore. Toward the end of the conversation I started to have an outer body experience where I kept telling myself "Ok, you really need to shut up now." But I just kept talking! It's like I wouldn't stop. It was like a train wreck. I've got to do better about this. I need to pray that God would help me resist the temptation to engage in negative talk about my job.
We have the audacity to complain about a job when we're in the middle of an economic crisis and people are losing their jobs. We take so many things for granted. Thank you, God, for my job. Thank you so much.
On another (yet similar note), Khalilah and I went to Sephora to help me find some new eyeliners and eye shadows. As we talked, we both realized how important it is to be able to communicate with people and to "speak people's language" in order to communicate effectively. I was trying to explain to her the look I was going for and the words I was using were causing her to think in a totally different direction. Once I showed her a picture of what I was talking about, she realized that in make-up terms, I was describing the look completely wrong. Once she got a visual she was able to correct me. We were finally on the same page and she was able to help me pick out some great choices for a basic, natural look with a little pizazz. I started thinking maybe that's something I need to work on in general. I mean, maybe I'd be able to better get through to my students if I communicated a different way. 'Cuz sometimes, man, I'm just like "Are you on a different planet? Why don't you understand what I just said?" And it's very frustrating because you're trying to get through to people and they just don't get it. And they walk away from the conversation with something completely different from what you were trying to say. I feel that way with Jon sometimes. What can I do about it? Does anybody have any recommendations for books/articles I could read on communication styles?
Communication has never been an easy thing for me. Just opening up my mouth and expressing my opinion has always been a challenge. Well, now I feel like I'm getting over that challenge and I'm getting better and speaking up about certain things. I guess I still have to work on making sense though. I tell you, this mouth of mine is something else. No wonder the Bible has so much to say about it. Lord, please help me to do a better job at controlling it.