Life is a school

Life is a school.

Think about it.

Every day we get opportunities to learn.  Sometimes the lessons are easy, some feel redundant and, more often, many are a little more difficult to grasp.

Today, during a conversation,  a situation unfolded that reminded me of something I’ve written about before … the art of not engagingI listened as her frustrations and negativity wore her out.    I waited until she was done.  Then, I responded, but not in the way she thought I would.  I didn’t jump on the bandwagon, I didn’t rescue her, I simply didn’t go there. I addressed the issue and was polite and firm, leaving no wiggle room. The response?  Startling.

Suddenly, when the desired reaction wasn’t attained, the tone abruptly shifted and the conversation ended.

School’s in session, baby.


I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Life is a school

  1. Ready to learn!

  2. You are an excellent teacher! #1 Rule at school “Don’t engage.” If only ineffective teachers would understand this dynamic, things would not escalate in the classroom, and yes, they would be able to teach. What’s more, if they would add a touch of ♥♥ to it, it can even be a lot of fun. Great post.

    • a touch of ♥ sprinkled with some common sense can go a long, long way 🙂 Thanks for your kind, uplifting words, Georgette.

  3. Great post. And, MJ, your posts are educational – always. Thank you for sharing a real life example of how ‘not’ to engage.

    • Thanks, Lenore. The thing is that this conversation was with a person I know well; I’ve only recently learned this technique and how well it works with someone that you might dread talking to because you know exactly how the conversation is going to go. This time, It didn’t go that way, just because of a simple little change … in me. Great lesson and one learned from the hubbs! 🙂 MJ

  4. In the past, I thought people brought their problems to me when they were searching for a solution. I’ve since discovered they mostly want to vent and have no intention of seeking an answer, much less implementing one. I wish I had your advice a long time ago. It would have made life a little easier. Thanks MJ!

    • I’ve started asking (those that I’m really invested in) “would you like my opinion or do you just need to talk about it?” It’s an easy way to get to the heart of the issue; and you’re right, many don’t have or want an answer, just need an outlet to rail at. Cheers! MJ

  5. I’ve learned this lesson well – dealing with my mother-in-law. She lives for conflict and confrontation, whereas I run from it. I wonder how many other gals could keep quiet as much as I do!

    • That is an effective strategy, Dianna. You are smart to not give her what she wants – conflict and confrontation. But … I know that is certainly not easy nor is it without sacrifice on your part. Your grace and good manners are to be admired!! Cheers, MJ

  6. I’ve added you onto my blogroll as I enjoy your blog so much. I even updated it. Go figure. 🙂

  7. Love the quote! Thanks for sharing, and for the encouragement to NOT engage when it leads to negativity.


    • Oh … it’s tempting to get into it .. but when this technique is perfectly played …it’s so satisfying to watch a whirling dervish spin and run out of steam. HA! MJ

  8. cooper

    amazing when that happens, isn’t it?

  9. We don’t have to attend every argument we are invited to…great post!

  10. Such common sense, as well as the comments from others. I have two people in my life that I have to remember to use this on so that I don’t let myself be caught up in their dramas anymore. Geez, it would have saved me $$ on therapy, too. 🙂
    Thanks for posting.

    • It’s definitely easy to get sucked into their drama but I find the more I practice this one, the more effective it is and the better I get at it. Try it .. and let me know how you do!! Thanks for visiting & I hope you pop in again 🙂 Cheers! MJ

  11. Great post! I too had a similar experience, a few in fact. After listening to someone drone on gossiping, being negative, being an “informer”….I looked at her and simply said “I don’t care, but thanks for sharing”. You should of seen the color drain from her face. She’s been back in my office to talk about work, kids, fun…but stayed away from “that”. I feel so empowered!

    • You so smart Grasshoppa! It’s startling to learn how effective this little tactic can be … I, for one, love pulling it out of my “bag of tricks.”

      Cheers to you CB, MJ

  12. Pingback: Something to look forward to | Emjayandthem's Blog

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