Have you ever had that moment when you have agreed to go to the party but you REALLY don’t want to?
When the day arrives, you resentfully get ready, complaining to yourself about how you have nothing to wear. You just want to sit on the couch because it’s been a big week and you’re tired and this is the LAST thing you want to be doing tonight.
That dance between wanting to “call in sick” to the party and feeling compelled to “do the right thing” is like a tug of war between two equally powerful sides. The back and forthing actually starts to make you feel a bit seasick.
Your “do the right thing” side wins out on this occasion and you arrive at the party believing that you are doing a great job of hiding your unhappiness about being there. Your friend asks if you are okay, you say “Yep, I’m just tired”. You make no effort to talk to the new people who wish to engage with you, and you actually start to feel a bit pissed off that they won’t just get out of your face.
Here’s the deal – yes, you have arrived at the party as promised BUT the intention that you came with is colouring the experience. Not just for you but for everyone who is around you. It has to, because intention is energy: it is what is exuded from you as you move through the world.
People can feel or even see that you aren’t happy being there and your energy is rather disagreeable. So my question is, have you done the right thing by forcing yourself to attend, and in doing so effectively contaminating the environment for those who are there to enjoy themselves?
My answer to that would be no, you haven’t done the right thing. Yes it’s great you came if keeping your word is important to you (it is to me) but that is only half the deal. The other half of the deal is you choose HOW to show up – ideally it would be with an intention that supports the environment and yourself.
By arriving and dragging in a whole pile of annoyance, resentment and frustration you are being what I call “emotionally irresponsible”. You take no ownership of the emotional state you have shown up in and the impact of that on others.
If you choose to come to the party, choose an intention that supports both you and the other partygoers to have the best possible time. In layman’s terms, own your shit, or more politely: own your energy. You chose to come, so the next step is to now choose how you show up.
The intention with which we do anything will always colour the situation. Just because you have forced yourself to be there, if you don’t consciously choose an intention that supports having a great time (or at a minimum an intention of being social) you won’t be much fun to be around.
I often see this behaviour in the workplace. Someone arrives at the office and they’re in a bad mood – maybe they are tired or they had an argument with their partner – who knows. They stomp into the office, slam cupboard doors, snap at people who merely asked how they were, and they literally contaminate the warm and open energy that filled the room prior to their arrival. In response to this heavy energy, people are now more alert, quiet and aware. There is now an edge in the room.
It is incredibly emotionally UNintelligent not to be responsible for how you show up and the intention that you bring. It is even more thoughtless to not be responsible for how you impact the environment that you’re in.
So: do you or do you not go to the party? Well that is your question to answer. My response to the question would be: if you choose to go, choose to go with an intention that supports both you and everyone else there, maybe even try to have fun.