Do Not Yuck My Yum! And other icky opinions...

So I'm just sitting here, at a cute little coffee shop, catching up on some work while my kids are at a rehearsal nearby... and I'm enjoying a cappuccino and a cherry tart, and someone sits next to me, smiles, then looks at my tart and says "Oh, you're having the cherry tart?" and I nod, and she proceeds "Ewe!  Those are gross!  Too sweet for me!"  Wow! Seriously?

Nah, that didn't really happen.  (Well it's all true up to that last part, I made that up to illustrate the point of this post) But can you imagine if it did?  AWKWARD!  Right?  I mean who does that?
Apparently we all do.  Uh-oh!

Here's a true story:
A few years ago I went to my best friend's house for a Pampered Chef party.  In case your not on the Mom - circuit, Pampered Chef is a network marketing business that sells fancy-ish cookware.  The representatives plan parties at the home of a host, products are sampled, sales are made, the host gets freebies, it's a nice night out for Mama.  Pretty standard stuff.   Well Pampered Chef also sells packaged food mixes, sauces, etc.   So there is a lot of food prepared with PC ingredients and using the cookware.

Chastity and Me, many years later... still not yuckin' other people's yum :)
Well the "Rule" of the party was "Don't Yuck My Yum!"  Huh? It means, if you try something and you don't like it, someone else might, so just move along and don't be a jerk.  It struck me funny at the time but it was actually a necessary point to make, because it happens.  And it's applicable not just with food!

Think about how many times you made an unsolicited negative comment about something or offered unfavorable criticism, without an invitation.   You know you have, and so have I and it's actually pretty rude and as such, it is just basic bad form communication.

This afternoon my son joked with my daughter that her sweater was ugly.  They are young teens so naturally, she shot back with what they call a "burn" (and a pretty good one actually - not that I'm condoning it) and because I'm supposed to say parental things during these moments I heard the words come out of my mouth "Don't yuck other people's yum!"   There was a pause of silence before the guffaw, and then the inevitable self-defense "What? I can't have an opinion?"  Yeah, we all have opinions but not all of them have to be verbalized!   So I explained what I meant.  "Your sister likes the sweater, she didn't ask you, there was no reason for you to just blurt it out just to hear yourself speak."

And that's really the gist of it.  What's more, how often to we just blurt out random compliments that are unsolicited.  I'm sure we all do that sometimes, when we are REALLY motivated to do so, but honestly, how often do you offer an unprovoked compliment, compared to how often you offer a criticism?   Why do we do that?  Simple.  We are human and we are egocentric and that means we have weak egos and insecurities because contemporary life beats us up so any chance our subconscious has to placate our ego, it takes... and the easiest route to self stroking is to put someone else or something else down.   You do it, I do it and we are probably going to still do it.

Ah!  But now that I've written this post - and now that you've read it - we will at least try to do it less, and the next time we do, we'll catch ourselves and (if we are decent people) try to dial it back a few notches.   Lets try this instead:  when you think "Yuck!" about something and nobody asked... either clam up OR even better, offer up a compliment on something else.  Do this, and your ego will be greatly satisfied, because it really does feel good to be nice.  :)  So be nice!

Hope this was helpful to you in your quest to improve the way you communicate with your friends, neighbors, associates, teammates, soul-mates, classmates and just fellow human mates.   I know that pondering it helped me :)

And a late thank you to you, Chastity, for hosting that party and setting the Don't Yuck the Yum rule!

Like this?  Hate this?  I invite you to let me knwo.... go ahead!  I'm asking for it :)

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