My Life

How to Ruin Someone's Moment

I realized a few years ago how to ruin someone’s moment. I learned it because my moment was stolen and then God gave me a Rhett Butler slap across the face to wake me up to my hypocrisy and the fact that I steal moments myself.

Here is a common scenario. You are in the grocery store pushing your cart up and down in the inner aisles where the processed food hangs out and avoiding the outer aisles where the food is wholesome, pure and no fun. On your third pass by your BFF, Little Debbie, you run into a F (friend, of course) from work.

Hey, F. How are you?

I’m tired but so excited. My family is leaving in the morning on a little mini-vaca to the beach! I cannot wait to get out of town!

And then the ruin.

That’s great. You’re so lucky. I wish I could get out of town.

Boom. Moment potentially ruined. I say “potentially” because I have learned in life that we have more ownership of our emotions and reactions than we give ourselves credit for but regardless the potential is there to ruin someone’s moment.

Instead of it being about them, we’ve now transitioned it to be about us. And guess what folks …. it’s not about you.

I know I am guilty of this still. I use to be a repeat offender and if someone said something about having a day off or eating a swiss cake roll, I would reply “I wish I ….”.

When I’m on the receiving end of this, I immediately struggle with feelings of guilt that I’m getting this awesome thing and they aren’t or being defensive, like they are questioning whether I deserve it or not. My reaction is illogical and irrational. But it is honest.

And after God “Butler-slapped” me, I realized that I didn’t want to ever cause someone else to feel that way. I didn’t want to ruin their moment. I wanted to celebrate their moment. I wanted to share in their moment – not steal from it.

I still fail at this sometimes but not as much as I use to fail. God helps me breathe and keep the focus where it should be – on loving the other person and being present with them.

So, the next time someone texts you and says, “I just took a a glorious two-hour nap!”, breathe and instead of saying, “I can’t remember the last time I took a nap!”, respond with “That’s awesome! You deserve it!” And then go reward yourself with a Little Debbie snack for not ruining someone’s moment.

Do you every ruin moments for others? Any tips on how to keep the focus off of ourselves and on others?

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