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Emotional Intelligence

WHAT’S UP WITH…’BRINGING TO THE LIGHT’?

WANT TO TRULY UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN CULTURE AND LANGUAGE? Learn another language.
There is nothing like a sharp contrast to open up one’s perspectives.
Today’s EQ bubble gum moment is brought to you by Walking Inside and the fabulous expression ‘bringing to the light’, an expression I have found as a direct English translation of the Chinese Mandarin word 发明 (pronounced faming).
Start chewing, this might blow your mind.
The word发明 is made up of two characters, 发 (fa) and明(ming).
The symbol发 means to create, build, construct, fabricate, develop, make happen.
The symbol明 is a drawing of the sun and the moon together, representing the concept of light or brightness.
When we combine发and 明 together, we get something like, ‘making something happen by bringing it to the light’. Now, which English word resonates with this long definition/explanation? Still do not know? Prepare for your bubble gum to pop…
In my Chinese-English dictionary, besides the word发明, we can read the following: ‘bringing to the light; invent’. Therefore, in Chinese Mandarin, to invent is to make something happen by bringing it to the light.
This distinction is a sharp contrast of perspective compared the French word ‘inventer’ and its English counterpart ‘invent’.
In French, the word ‘inventer’ comes from the Latin ‘invenire’, meaning ‘to find’. In ‘invenire’, there is another verb, ‘venir’; ‘venir’ literally means ‘to come towards us’. In French, to invent is the action of finding by allowing something to come towards us.
In English, the word ‘invent’ comes from Middle English ‘inventen’, French, and Latin. To invent is to ‘come upon, meet with, find, discover’.
Do you see how a seemingly every-day used word resonates differently in different cultures?
发明: making something happen by bringing it to light.
Inventer: action of finding by allowing something to come to us.
Invent: come upon, meet with, find, discover.
Bringing our awareness to the light, which one of these three definitions speak to your consciousness? You be the judge.

Categories
Emotional Intelligence

THE CHICKEN AND THE BEAR: A STORY ABOUT CURIOSITY

Once upon a time, there was a small yellow chicken and a big brown bear who lived within a tree.

The big brown bear loved the small yellow chicken very much! Oftentimes, he held the small yellow chicken between its giant paws so his little friend could take a peek at his fellow humans. The small yellow chicken was the kind of being filled with genuine curiosity.

One day, the small yellow chicken asked the big brown bear why so many humans failed to see them. The big brown bear answered, “Because I think they think they’re too busy to notice the likes of you and me.”

At first surprised by such blindness on the humans’ part, the small yellow chicken then wondered out loud, “Why do you think that is?”

The big brown bear heaved a giant sigh. “Many humans have been taught to think they are separate from us. To them, a tree might just be a tree. If they think that way, how could they ever realize there might be a big brown bear and a small yellow chicken living within a tree?”

The little chicken looked at his friend with great determination. “We must change that!” he affirmed.

How can we help everyone realize that we all exist?

The big brown bear approached the question with great curiosity. After a while, he honestly said, “I don’t know.” Thinking some more, he added, “How can we help someone realize that we all exist when that someone is glued to their cell phone while walking through a park? How can we help someone realize that we all exist when their mind is preoccupied with how to pay the mortgage or whom to date?”

The small yellow chicken’s shoulders slumped forward. He was suddenly feeling increasingly sad. To him, it now seemed like an impossible task to make everyone believe in the “I’m possible, therefore I am”

Feeling crestfallen, the small yellow chicken burst into tears. He so badly wanted humans to see that a small yellow chicken and big brown bear could live within a tree. What could he do?

What is possible with genuine curiosity?

The big brown bear hugged the small yellow chicken and softly said, “We all have free will. This means that everyone must first be willing to look within themselves to see all of us. We both know that a tree is more than a tree … ”

Lost in sadness, the small yellow chicken’s tears formed a giant loving puddle at its feet. He kept pondering, “There must be a way! There’s always a way to foster genuine curiosity!”

After what seemed like a long, long time, he firmly announced, “What if we told our story? What if we showed humans how much they mean to us. Surely, they’ll then notice the likes of you and me?” Bursting into a fit of giggles, he excitedly proposed, “Who can resist a small yellow chicken and big brown bear living within a tree?”

Happy to notice his friend was now feeling better, the big brown bear said encouragingly, “This could work!”

To both their surprise, a middled-aged who was taking pictures of flowers and kissing grown-up trees stopped by. Compassionately looking at both of them, she softly whispered, “Good morning!” Then she took this picture of the big brown bear and the small yellow chicken living within a tree.

Information without application is useless. If you’re ready to start creating real change in your financial life, book a call with me today! In 15 minutes, you’ll gain clarity and awareness around what needs to happen next so you can APPLY the powerful principles I teach.

Another great resource to check out for genuine curiosity based leadership: https://fullmontyleadership.com 

Categories
Emotional Intelligence

“WHEN INVITED IN, THE DOOR GETS OPENED”

I know a little girl who is fascinated with flowers and trees. She can also hear the wind whispering in her ear. In the village where she comes from, she is often ridiculed for caring about such “trivial” things. Regardless of what anybody says, she continues to persevere because she wants to be invited in.

One day, she feels the need to greet the most majestic tree she has ever seen in her life. The tree seems ancient, with its branches spreading in all directions. The little girl tries to hug it, but her arms are falling short. Not knowing what else to do, she decides to say hello to the tree.

The tree replies, “How’s the ‘chid?”

Laughing, the little girl answers, “Kid’s good.”

 

How many times do we say hello with the hope to get into someone’s inner circle?

The little girl’s attention moves to a cobra dragon resting nearby. “I guess all tree castles need a sentinel,” she wonders out loud.

“Would you like to visit in?” asks the tree.

The little girl pauses a moment, then shyly agrees. ‘It is not every day a tree invites you in,’ she smiles to herself.

Trying to find a point of entry, she circles the tree three times, but to no avail; she cannot see the door and becomes anxious because of it.

Sensing her anxiousness, the tree gently states,

“When invited in, the door gets opened.”

Realizing that the tree had just made a valid point, the little girl laughs heartily and patiently stands in the rain while waiting for a door to magically appear and open.

But to her great surprise and dismay,  the tree suddenly urges her, “You must leave. Now!”

For the little girl, this change of mood and circumstance seems so sudden. As she turns around to honour the tree’s request, she comes face to face with a middle-aged woman, who has deep slanted eyes and one of the whitest complexions she has ever witnessed in her life.

The woman is wearing a black bomber jacket, black pants, and black shoes. Even her hair is jet black. She is holding a black umbrella in one hand and is pushing a black baby carriage with the other. She looks at the little girl with piercing eyes. Taking out of  her purse a small bag of cat treats labelled Temptations, she feeds them to whatever is inside the baby carriage.

“Do babies eat cat treats?” she asks the woman before she realizes that the grown-up  is pushing a black little dog in her black stroller. Not knowing what else to do, she decides to say hello to the woman. But the woman refuses to greet her back. Still, the little girl continues to persevere.

“Such a beautiful tree, don’t you think?” she asks the woman, feeling hopeful for a positive answer on the adult’s part.

“Mmm…” was all the woman could say.

“Are you sure?” asks the little girl, wanting to connect deeper.

“Mmm….” replies the woman again.

With all her might, the little girl feels for the woman, she feels for the tree. All she wants is to get invited in, but a door must open for that to happen.

Until such moment occurs for her, this inner child continues to listen to the wind whispering in her ear and is more fascinated than ever with flowers and trees.
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Information without application is useless. If you’re ready to start creating real change in your financial life, book a call with me today! In 15 minutes, you’ll gain clarity and awareness around what needs to happen next so you can APPLY the powerful principles I teach.

Your EQ coach,
Anne
https://walkinginside.com/products

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

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Categories
Emotional Intelligence

THE ART OF ASKING BETTER QUESTIONS

I feel it … it’s on the tip of my tongue … my brain is churning words … a seed is being planted … a thought is forming … a curious ponder is watered … until finally something cracks open:

“How can we ask better questions?”

 

∇∇∇

When an English speaking person wants to know something, how do they usually formulate their request? 

In my house, my kids say, “Can I ask you a question?”

The English word ‘ask’ comes from the Middle English ‘asken’ and from the Old English ‘ascian’, ‘ahsian’, ‘axian’, which means to inquire, demand, call, summon.

 

How do we question in English? Apparently, we inquire, we demand, we call, we summon … an answer!

Sounds kind of bossy, don’t you think? Having said that, now I am thinking of all the times I have asked my children: “Where have you been?” “What are you doing?” or “What’s up with that?” Who would have guessed I was acting like some kind of drill sergeant demanding answers from young reserves? No wonder my kids were often angry with me, growing up.
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∇∇∇

When a Chinese speaking person wants to know something, how do they usually formulate their request?

In my house, my kids say, “我有个问题想问你.” (wo you ge wenti xiang wen ni.)

The Chinese word for ‘ask’ is 问 (wen). “口” represents an open mouth and 门 represents an open door and a question mark. 问 (wen) means to ask, inquire, interrogate, hold responsible.

How do we question in Chinese? Never mind just asking, we shall hold another responsible for their answers and interrogate further if need be!

Without their knowing, my kids up might have been subjected to military style parenting, because I kept drilling them for answers.
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∇∇∇

When a French speaking person wants to know something, how do they formulate their request?

In my house, my kids say, “Puis-je te poser une question?”

As a native French speaker, I might be doomed because way back in the 4th century, the French confused two latin verbs: ‘pausare’ (to cease) and ‘ponere’ (to put). The confusion got so bad that both verbs were amalgamated to form a new verb, ‘pondre’ which literally means ‘to lay an egg’. Besides that, the word also means: to put something onto something/someone or to abandon something; placing in a spot/situation or affixing a physical structure; to establish a foundation or to address; putting in its rightful place or laying on something/someone; to study gestures/looks/language or to take on a role/appearance; etc.

How do we question in French? Apparently, we first build some kind of elaborate wordy structure to establish on it a nest where we lay an egg to crack open the shell of our understanding.
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At this point, I am kindly ASKing  each one of us to SUMMON buckets of compassion while doing further  INVESTIGATION into this laying egg query:

“How can we ask better questions?”

And during this ongoing process,

∇∇∇∇∇∇∇∇∇

May we all crack open the shell of our understanding.

Information without application is useless. If you’re ready to start creating real change in your financial life, book a call with me today! In 15 minutes, you’ll gain clarity and awareness around what needs to happen next so you can APPLY the powerful principles I teach.

Your EQ coach,
Anne
https://www.financialeq.coach/webinar/

Photo by Miguel Andrade on Unsplash

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Categories
Emotional Intelligence

HOW TO REMAIN CHEERFUL WHEN FACING DISCONTENT

“A cheerful spirit is a sign of strength.” ~ Ralph Emerson

I had eaten to my heart’s content. Where I was, in an old fifties’ style diner that played ’80s music on its surround speakers, the food was great and the service, impeccable. Feeling satisfied, I asked for the bill.

Meanwhile, an elderly couple walks into the diner. Accompanied by his wife, an old gentleman is walking with a spring in his step and a bright smile on his face.

He points to the table next to me and says,  “I want this one! I love round tables! Do you know why?”

I smile; his sunny disposition is infectious. “I don’t. Why?”

His eyes twinkle in anticipation of a good joke. He answers, “Because I don’t like being cornered!”

I burst out laughing with him. To me, this gentleman is being a warm ray of sunshine brightening up my life.

Being cheerful is being a warm ray of sunshine.

But his wife looks at me reproachfully. She sighs, feeling annoyed. “Don’t encourage him!” she flatly tells me.

Her attitude puzzles me. I start feeling cross with her because I am thinking, ‘Don’t you know how lucky you are? For God’s sake, he is happy!’

Realizing that I had quickly moved into discontent, I wonder, “Who does she remind me of?”

I don’t know about you but, growing up,  I was taught that being cheerful was unacceptable and that there was such a thing as ‘too much’ cheerfulness. As a result, I often told myself that there was something phoney about someone being cheerful. Can you relate?

Back in the diner, I turn my attention to the elderly gentleman. I say to him, “I love your joke! You are funny. Thank you for the laughter.”

The elderly gentleman brightens up even more. “I’ve got another one for you!” and he tells me this funny joke about an elderly woman who refuses to pull-over for speeding because she was knitting a pair of socks.

I find this elderly gentleman so cheerful that I keep laughing with him as he tells me more and more jokes.

At some point, his wife looks at me reproachfully.  “I told you NOT to encourage him!” she blurted out.

I stand up and shake the gentleman’s hand, with a bright smile on my face.  “You made my day! Thank you for the laughter!” I say to him gratefully.

Let me ask you …

What stops us from being cheerful?

I believe the answer is, because we think there’s something too much about being utterly happy. If that is true, how will we become cheerful if we think there’s something off, awkward, weird, or too much about expressing our cheerfulness?

Clearly, we must embrace our cheerfulness in order to be/remain cheerful.

With that in mind …

 

Here are three (3) tips to assist you in remaining cheerful in the face of discontent:

  • Ask yourself, “What does being cheerful mean to me?” Make a list of your beliefs around cheerfulness and examine those beliefs closely. For example, is there such a thing as too much cheerfulness? If you believe there is, then, by opposition, is there such a thing as too little cheerfulness? What is the right balance of cheerfulness? What would that look like for you?

 

  • Emulate people who inspire you. Cheerfulness is infectious; it makes us laugh and relax. Around cheerful people, we let go and become more in tune with our spirit. The old gentleman remained cheerful even though his wife kept asking us to stop this “nonsense” of laughter. Who in your life life inspires you to become more cheerful? Spend time with that person regularly.

 

  • Have an accountability partner. If being cheerful is challenging for you, have an accountability partner who can assist you in safely addressing what makes you feel undeserving of cheerfulness. That person will help you see the areas in your life that need brightening up. No one does this work alone because we all have blind spots.

Now that you have read those tips …

What do you believe would be your greatest challenge?

Over 90% of people who win the lottery become depressed, suicidal, bankrupt, divorced, and more. Why? Because money amplifies who you are and what your triggers are. You don’t need to win the lottery to understand this! Money mindsets and your relationship with money show up in your life all the time, for better or worse. If you’re ready to make that work for you, let’s talk! You can schedule a free, 15 minutes discovery call here.

Your EQ coach,
Anne

Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash
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Categories
Emotional Intelligence

HOW TO FIND OUR VOICE AND INSPIRE OTHERS

“Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.” ~ Stephen Covey

I remember this story about a nightingale who was the most beautiful and sought-after bird in the whole kingdom. Its voice was so melodious that fishermen and maids stopped whatever they were doing and listened intently to the nightingale’s song.

One day, the kingdom’s emperor hears about the nightingale, and he becomes incensed at knowing that a simple bird can usurp him with its amazing voice.

Stung in his pride, he asks his first lord to go and fetch the bird so he can see for himself what is it about its voice that is so special.

The first lord fearfully scourges the land wide to find the nightingale himself, for the Emperor threatens to have him trampled to death if he fails. At last, he finds the bird deep in the forest, ad he tells the nightingale that the emperor is requesting its presence.

The nightingale agrees, and shows up at court.

The emperor sheds moving tears upon hearing the bird’s singing voice; this gesture greatly touches the nightingale’s heart.

Wanting to hear the bird sing some more for himself, the emperor builds him a golden cage and gives him servants. Servants attach the bird’s left leg to them as they care for him.

One day, the emperor receives a present. It is a mechanical nightingale adorned with diamonds and sparkling jewels. The mechanical bird pleases him greatly, for it seems to sing perfectly every note at the emperor’s wimp.

Feeling the emperor’s attention drawn elsewhere, the nightingale sees his chance to be free once again and he returns to live in the forest.

Some time later, the mechanical nightingale breaks down. Sad and depressed, the emperor becomes greatly ill.

On his death bed, he remembers the nightingale who once soothed his aching heart. Crying, he prays for its return with all his heart. The nightingale hears his plea and comes in the middle of the night, sitting on a branch outside his bedroom window.

The emperor is so grateful to hear the bird’s voice again that he asks the nightingale to never leave his side again.

The nightingale agrees on one condition: being free. In return, it will visit with the emperor and sing its love song.

Let me ask you,

What do you believe is the nightingale’s story about?

I’d like to offer you the following suggestion:

What if the nightingale represents our inner child?

If that’s the case,

Who or what does the emperor represent? 

I believe the emperor represents our ego, that thing that tries to cage everything beautiful in and around us.

Here are three tips to find your inner voice and inspire others:

 

  • Let go of the desire to please others. The first lord is deeply afraid to displease the emperor. People pleasers are like first lords who are afraid of rejection. Seek your own approval beyond the emperor called ego.

 

  • Let go of comparison. The only thing that compares is the ego. We are beyond that.

 

  • Embrace gratitude. The emperor feels solace in the companionship of the nightingale and the hearing of its melodious song. Our inner child offers us solace if we are willing to allow ourselves to hear its love song. In this place of solace, it then becomes easy to inspire others.

I trust you have found value in this article.

Information without application is useless. If you’re ready to start creating real change in your financial life, book a call with me today! In 15 minutes, you’ll gain clarity and awareness around what needs to happen next so you can APPLY the powerful principles I teach.

Your EQ coach,
Anne
https://www.financialeq.coach/webinar/
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Categories
Emotional Intelligence

SEEING CONSCIENCE THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD

The word conscience alone is enough to put a three year-old child to sleep. Do you agree?

Because … For many children (and us too!), the word conscience is a biiig word.

Perhaps you’ve had a different experience than me, but I haven’t met a three year-old yet who has ever named their family dog, Conscience.

And I haven’t met many adults (including me in the past) who can clearly explain what a conscience is. Especially in a way that most three year-old children can easily relate to.

What is a conscience to a three-year old kid?

In order for me to understand what a word means, I often start by researching its meaning(s) in the dictionary.

Call my old-fashioned, but I like looking at various meanings across various cultures too. It’s what I call, getting a broader perspective.

Here’s what I’ve discovered:

In the English and French languages, the word conscience comes from the prefix com (meaning with or thoroughly) and the word scire (meaning to know or knowledge).

What this means is: in the English and French cultures, a conscience seems to be that knowledge thing, that thing we know.

Like me, you are now perhaps wondering,

“But what is that thing? And what does it do exactly?”

Ahhh! Some of us might tend to say that our conscience is that thing telling us what is right and what is wrong. In that context, a conscience is that thing asking us to do the right thing, no matter what.

However, in some academic circles, I have heard that conscience is the ability to know one’s self. “Ouf!” as the French say. That’s a tall order for anyone, even a three-year old, do you agree?

Which brings me to the following question: Though these various meanings are great on the surface, how can they relate exactly to the way a three year-old thinks?

Yes, there are many studies and experts in the field who are telling us that a child understands right and wrong by the age of two.

Well, I guess I am not that average child, because I grew up in house where right or wrong is mostly determined based on someone’s moods and circumstances. In other words, my parents’ moral compass seem to have more to do with what they personally had to gain from a situation.

Maybe that explains my fascination to this day with what a conscience is and what it does for us.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon the word conscience while studying Chinese mandarin. And what I have discovered is fascinating!

In Chinese mandarin, a conscience is called liangxin (良心)。
The word xin (心) means heart. That symbol does look like a heart, right?
The word liang (良) means valiant, strong, pure, good. This symbol is strongly associated to a warrior’s character.
Therefore, in the Chinese language,

A conscience is a valiant warrior upholding the good of our hearts. 

In light of this, here’s my suggestion to you.

Next time you meet a three year-old child, explain to them that their conscience is this valiant warrior within upholding the good of our hearts. We all have one. And it works for all of us.

I trust that you have enjoyed reading this article. I’d love to know your thoughts. Please drop a comment below or contact me directly at https://walkinginside.com/contact-us

Your EQ coach,
Anne

To shop the adult fairy tales series for developing emotional intelligence, visit https://walkinginside.com/products
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Categories
Emotional Intelligence

HOW TO BREATHE DEEPLY AND FEEL GENEROUS

“Bie xiao qi!” (别小气!)” 

He laughs and fills the container to the brim.

Recently, I was invited to a friend’s dinner at their house. As suspected, she and her life partner cooked a lot of food: shrimps, steaks, BBQ chicken, goulash, naan bread, noodles, veggies, etc. There was more food than any of us present could eat in one sitting.

Because my friend does not like to eat leftovers, she asks her life partner to prepare me a plastic container full of my favourite foods that night to take home with me.

Her life partner agrees and starts filling up the container. As she watches him, she playfully says, “Bie xiao qi!” (别小气)! He laughs and fills the container to the brim.

Now, you might be wondering,

What does “Bie xiao qi!” (别小气!)” mean?

Literally,

别 means: DO NOT

小 means: small

气! means: air

In other words, “Bie xiao qi!” means

“Breathe deeply!”

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When it comes to feeling generous, why does the Chinese language ask us to breathe deeply?

The air we breathe in is often referred to as qi or prana; it is our vital essence, what helps us feel good, grounded, emotionally present at one with all that is.

When we breathe deeply, we relax, we allow ourselves to be ourselves, and in that moment, it becomes easy to access our generosity. Feeling generous is who we really are.

Let me ask you …

Why do we breathe shallow?

Why do we pursue lack of generosity?

I believe the answer is, because we are afraid others will take advantage of us if we allow ourselves to breathe deeply and feel generous.

If that is true, how does breathing shallow (lacking generosity) ever going to make us feel generous?

Clearly, breathing small air does NOT work.

With this in mind …

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How do things become better?

I believe things become better when we focus on

  • becoming aware: ‘What do I need right now?’

  • setting our intention: ‘What can I do provide what is needed?’

  • becoming accountable: ‘How can I hold myself accountable to keep providing what is needed?’

When I breathe shallow, I lack generosity: My muscles start tensing and I start looking at others (including myself) with suspicion. In that place of lack, I pass judgment and refuse to share. However … When I breathe deeply, I feel generous: I am relaxed, laughing, and I want to help. In this feeling of expansiveness, I am alert to what is needed and I provide it with a feeling of easiness.

Therefore …

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Here are five (5) action steps you can take to breathe deeply and feel generous:

 

  • Ground your feet. Make sure both your feet are firmly placed on the ground. Feel the ground underneath you; it is a feeling of safety.

 

  • Straighten up your posture. Qi or prana is often perceived as a vertical column of air traveling along our spine. Standing straight with our shoulders pulled back helps us open up the rib cage and breathe deeper (taking more air in).

 

  • Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth. As strange as it might sound, doing that signals our brain that we are being serious about our breathing; we are committed to it.

 

  • Quiet your mind. Multitasking is an illusion (this is why swallowing food and air at the same time causes burping). When focusing on breathing deeply, avoid distractions such as social media, talking on the phone, etc. Think of breathing is something that requires your undivided attention.

 

  • Breathe in on a count of 4, hold for 4, and exhale for 4. Repeat. Breathing slowly helps us better control our breathing. It signals the brain that all is good and we can relax. When we hold for four, it quiets the mind. Exhaling gently shows us that we can express any situation with mindfulness.

Always remember … Breathe deeply! 

My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence coach who assists her clients in breathing deeply so they can feel generous in giving and receiving all that life has to offer.

To book a chat with me to discuss how being generous can assist you feeling much better about yourself and others, here’s my scheduling link: https://walkinginside.com/contact-us/
Your EQ coach,
Anne
https://walkinginside.com/products

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

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Categories
Emotional Intelligence

LESSONS FROM THE COBBLER WHO CONNED ME

There is no greater con than the one who agrees to be conned.

I walked into my neighbourhood cobbler’s shop with a pair of red leather boots in my hand. Each boot is in need of a new zipper. I love my boots! They remind me of what Robbin Hood used to wear.

I ask the cobbler, “How much for the repairs?”

He answers, “About $25. Cash.”

I agree to the transaction. The cobbler takes my boots and goes back to work.

What does a transaction need to ensure no one gets conned? 

Two weeks later, I walk into the cobbler’s shop and ask for my boots.

The cobbler starts looking through a mountain of boots and shoes scattered all over the floor.

While he is looking for my boots, I turn my gaze to various shoes and boots for sale for $5 or $10. I have seen them in the past. Who leaves their previously worn shoes behind?

I watch the cobbler dig around to find my boots. He’s an old man in his mid-sixties, judging by his business licenses that date back to 1959 on the wall.

“Have you found my boots yet?” I ask impatiently.

The cobbler hands over a pair of tall, skinny, black boots. “This is yours. Your name is on the tape.

I am far from being amused. “These are NOT my boots!”

“Yes, they are! They have your name on it.”

I am angry. “My boots look different!”

The cobbler picks up the boots again and says, “I have the wrong Anne.” And just like that, he drops those boots on the ground and searches for my red boots again.

Finally, he finds them! At that point, all I want to do is leave. I curtly say, “$25, right?”

The cobbler looks at the counter, eerily calm, as if he has done this thousands of times before. “I said about $25 then, but the two zippers were hard to take out… a lot of work… so it’s $35 cash… for each boot.”

For each boot? I am furious! “This is NOT what we agreed on! Who pays $70 for two zippers?”

He quickly spits out, “You think I’m expensive? Go on Main Street and 4th! They charge more! Sometimes $40 to $50 more!

I stop talking. Something is nagging in the back of my mind. I get it! I’ve heard those words before. This cobbler has said those exact, same words to me the last time I was there. I had been conned again!

Without saying another word, I pay the cobbler $70, grab my boots, and leave.

Why did I pay the cobbler?

Because he reminded me of two valuable lessons in doing business:

Lesson #1: Define clearly the terms of transaction.

  • Price. “About $25” is vague and does not constitute a clear transaction price in itself.

  • Quantity. “How much for the repairs?” does not stipulate how many units are involved.

  • Recourse. What is my/your recourse if a transaction goes wrong? There was zero slip. How do I prove in court thatmy red boots were even mine to begin with?

 

Lesson #2: Pay attention to the clues around you. In my case:

  • Two full racks of previously worn boots and shoes for sale. Did customers leave them behind because they got conned too?

  • No receipt. If we really like our item, are we really going to leave it behind with a stranger who refuses to issue receipts?

  • Been there, done that. How many times does one need to be conned before learning their lesson?

In case you might suggest, “I would never do business that way!” know that the cobbler has been in business since 1959. I wonder how many customers went through his doors.

Here’s what I would like to suggest to you if you ever find yourself in a similar situation as mine:

Get clear before agreeing to anything

OR

Pay the price for learning the lesson.

I trust you have found value in this article.

My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who assist her clients in knowing exactly what they are getting into while doing business. You can connect with me at https://walkinginside.com/contact-us/

Your EQ coach,
Anne
www.walkinginside.com

Categories
Emotional Intelligence

WHERE’S THE LINE BETWEEN A COMPLIMENT AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

If you’re not clear about the line between a compliment and sexual harassment,

you might get in trouble.

“It wasn’t my intention!” he said, while putting his hands in the air to show me that his intention was non-sexual and that I was the one misunderstanding his gesture. Does this scenario look familiar to you?

Let me share with you a personal story.

I once met a woman called Amanda (name changed). We met because our daughters were the kind of friends who often had sleep-overs at each other’s place.

My daughter loved going to Amanda’s house; they had a big swimming pool and they threw pool parties.

Amanda often said that she was blessed being married to her husband; they had been together for over a decade.

I felt happy for Amanda and her family. Personally, I was going through a divorce at the time and longed to see a positive example of a loving primary relationship.

One day, Amanda’s husband placed his right hand firmly on my lower back and left it there! I was so shocked that I froze.

Have you ever felt confused by someone else’s gesture?

Not knowing what to do, I ran to the kitchen where Amanda was and I stayed by her side the rest of the evening.

Months went by before, Amanda and I saw each other again. This time, it was at her daughter’s birthday party at her place.

Upon ringing the doorbell to their house, Amanda’s husband opened the door. “Come in,” he said smiling.  “You look beautiful!” he added, while eyeing me up and down.

Back then (over ten years ago), I wasn’t the woman I am today, so I said nothing.

Amanda’s husband took a step towards me and I took a step away from him. He said, “I don’t bite, Anne. I just said you’re beautiful.”

Replaying his words in my mind, I started wondering,

“Am I the one crazy here?” 

Is this sexual harassment? 

Winter came, then it was replaced by another summer. Once again, my daughter was doing cannon balls in Amanda’s pool.

When I went to pick her up one late afternoon, I came face to face with Amanda’s husband. He was home early and Amanda wasn’t there.

“Eh! Where you going? Stay! Have a drink!!” he said to me when he saw me retreat my steps towards the front door.

I walked faster but he blocked my exit by putting his arm across the door.   “You’re beautiful, you know that? Can’t believe you’re single!”

Amanda’s husband then bent over and tried to kiss me, but I physically ducked and the kiss smacked empty over my head. “What the hell!” I said angrily. To which he replied, “It wasn’t my intention!”

Let me ask you,

Where is the line between a compliment and sexual harassment?

 

When someone places their hand onto someone else’s lower back, what does it mean?

Placing our hand on someone’s lower back usually indicates 

a deliberate show of affection or an implied want for possession

This is why some people view this gesture as a compliment while others see it as aggression.

When someone says, “You’re beautiful!” what does it mean?

Being told “You’re beautiful!” usually indicates a form of 

physical attraction in a sexual or non-sexual manner. 

 

When someone says, “It wasn’t my intention!” what does it mean?

We usually say “It wasn’t not my intention!” after being caught doing something wrong

Therefore,

Where is the line between a compliment and sexual harassment?

The line is simple:

Ask yourself,

‘Would I perform the same gestures onto people 

with the same sexual orientation as me?’

For example:

If you are a heterosexual man:

  • Are you okay with placing your hand onto another heterosexual man’s lower back and firmly leave it there? 

  • Would you look at a heterosexual man and say over and over again, “You’re beautiful!”?

  • Do you accept kissing a heterosexual man on the lips?

If you (a heterosexual man) have answered no to any or all of these questions, then what might be your intent if you are performing these gestures onto heterosexual women who are NOT in a committed romantic relationship with you? Could it be that your intent was sexual in nature?

As a heterosexual woman, I do put my hand onto another woman’s back as a sign of affection, I do tell my girlfriends they are beautiful and sexy. I also do kiss some women on the lips sometimes to show my closeness to them. Can I do the same thing with heterosexual men? Absolutely! I am clear on the line between a heartfelt compliment and sexual harassment because

No one wants to experience sexual harassment anywhere.

My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who assists clients in establishing and enforcing healthy emotional boundaries. You can connect with me at https://walkinginside.com/contact-us/

Your EQ coach,
Anne
www.walkinginside.com
Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash
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