The header’s link is a wonderful podcast, talking about ways we can better understand ourselves, and how the most seemingly “self-aware” people are not usually very self-aware at all.
Dr. Tasha Eurich discusses ways in which we can become more self-aware by having conversations with the ones we love – the ones we want to strengthen relationships with – through insanely uncomfortable topics. These topics, ladies and gentlemen, are about us.
Dr. Eurich suggests a “Dinner of Truth.” It’s a date of sorts, with a predetermined topic, and it’s a topic both parties know about ahead of time.
(So…. what’s the topic?)
The suggested topic (although Doc declares the topic can be anything, so long as it’s constructive): “The most annoying thing about me is _________________ (obviously fill in the blank).”
(And then what?)
You just have to take it!! You can’t defend yourself, you can’t make excuses about why that’s the way you are — you just have to take that criticism, and swallow it. Once it’s swallowed, you can ask questions like, “What’s your best example of when I acted this way?” and, “Why do you think I do this?” and other inquiries that don’t suggest you’re upset, or defensive, or anything else of that matter.
Easy, peasy, right?
It’s daunting, and if you think you’re ready to hear what’s most annoying about you, you’re wrong.
She also suggests you do the same for the other person, and if you think calling out someone’s most annoying trait will be easy… it’s not.
Preparation of my own “Dinner of Truth”
Continuously strengthening a relationship with Papa Cheeks is so important, on a lot of aspects. The most important reason, of course, is we share a child. So, I chose Papa Cheeks as the person to humble me bit (is that what they’re calling it these days?)
I also thought it would make an interesting date night (it did).
(heh, I bet)
Because this “Dinner of Truth” isn’t a one-way street type of situation, I told Papa Cheeks about the dinner a week ahead of time (honestly, probably less, but ample time to prepare, regardless), and began thinking about what annoyed me most about him.
I truly thought this would be easy. There are multiple pet peeves I have with Papa Cheeks, as we all have with our significant others (I’m sure… I hope… we’re not the only ones, right???) so I figured one of those pet peeves must be what annoys me most about him.
When it was all said and done, and I had finally pin-pointed what actually annoyed me (rather than just got on my nerves), I finally realized the real reasons I was getting frustrated with the little stuff; everything was connected (go figure). I figured out, after probably hours of analyzing my feelings, what exactly triggered all those pet-peeves – it was one, big, underlying annoyance. That part alone was relationship-changing, and we hadn’t even started our date yet!
Once I figured out my end of the conversation, though, I started getting a weeeee bit concerned.
What is he going to say about me? Will I lose my shit? Will his annoyance be a legitimate thing, or just some bull shit he made up because he didn’t even listen to the podcast? What if he isn’t as serious about this as I am, and he just picks the first pet peeve that comes to mind? What if this becomes a “roasting of Momma Cheeks,” and I want to die at the end? What if…
The “Dinner of Truth” Experience
So, I was right on one tiny detail – he definitely thought this was a “list off your pet peeves” type conversation, rather than a “list your all-time biggest annoyance” type conversation. He swears he listened to the podcast…
And, of course he had me go first (but also thankfully, so he could have some time to decide what was most annoying about me, rather than roasting me hard on all the little stuff).
And, OF COURSE, Mr. Calm-and-Collected followed the rules, and accepted (even AGREED on) his most annoying trait, without getting the least bit defensive.
In respect to Papa Cheeks, I’m not going to mention what my annoyance was with him, because this isn’t his blog post, it’s mine, which means I want to talk about me.
Selfish? Ya, probs. But it’s my blog post and I can write what I want to [write what I want to, write what I want to… You would write (what you want, too) if it was your blog post — oooooooo].
So, back to me….
Well, as a matter of fact, you’ll just have to wait until next week to read what the most annoying thing is about me, because what came of it has been pretty great, believe it or not.
I will tell you this:
I was not Mrs. Calm-and-Collected. I transformed into Ms. And-Fuck-You-Too quite quickly.
As soon as he finally shelled out the most annoying thing about me, I let loose. All the rules went out the window. Every excuse came flying out of my mouth.
I blamed Cheeky, Jr.
I blamed Papa Cheeks.
I blamed my “busy schedule.”
I claimed that I wasn’t always like this, but life made me this way.
And I did not accept his examples, and I immediately replied with a reason behind each and every one.
I failed. I failed miserably. The Dinner of Truth beat me to a pulp. I thought I’d be able to take Papa Cheeks’ criticism. Instead, it crippled me, it crippled me fast and hard.
But then I got the Fuck Over it.
And Karma turned on another podcast, and that podcast told me in an indirect, less personal way, what Papa Cheeks had tried to tell me.
This time I listened.
I listened, and I did something about it… If not for me, then for my business, and for my son, and for our future.
A Solid Suggestion
- Listen to the podcast.
- Have a “dinner of truth” with someone who matters a great deal to you.
- Take the time you need in order to accept what they’ve said about you. Ask the necessary questions. Get defensive if it makes you feel better in the moment. But then…
- DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. If you really care about improving yourself, and growing personally and spiritually and professionally, then take what they have to say and turn it into positivity! Change. You chose the Dinner of Truth with this person because they matter to you, because you care what they have to say and how they feel about you. Hopefully, you matter to them as much as they matter to you, which means they aren’t telling you this annoying thing to break you, to hurt your feelings, to make you feel inferior – they’re telling you because they care about you, and they know you’re better than this one, annoying trait you’re probably completely ignorant of (I say trait, and not flaw, because a flaw to one person is a room of growth for another).
- When you begin thinking of the most annoying attribute of the other person, keep in mind that pet peeves and the most annoying thing EVER are not the same thing. You actually have to think about this one for it to be worth while (for both of you), so take your time.
I have an entire couch of laundry to fold, and about 3 more glasses of wine to drink, so… good luck with yo’ bad self.
– Momma Cheeks