Kiss ass. Brown noser. Pooper smoocher.
I am none of these, yet some people seem to think I am.
My understanding of a kiss ass is someone who is fake and says nice things to people with an expectation of getting something in return. It’s an inauthentic person with a hidden agenda. At least that’s how I would define it.
So this past week I attended my first 2 classes at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in Hollywood, taking Improv 101 and Writing 101. A new town, with new people, and a new comedy culture. For an INFJ, socially anxious, and super awkward human being such as myself, that’s quite a leap out of my comfort zone.
Unfortunately, I’m smart enough to know that in order to get where I want to be, I need to sacrifice the cozy blanket that is my safe space and jump into the deep end of the icy waters until my body acclimates, and then do it all over again because I’m addicted to self-growth. Blech.
Sometimes I envy the ignorant. But, I digress.
// THE STORY OF THE WEEK
Scary experience, new school, and awesome teachers. And because I’m a nice person who likes to say nice things to make people feel good, I told my new writing teacher that one of my teachers back in Chicago said some very nice things about him… and not surprisingly he was pleased to hear it.
Until an insecure turd of a student opened his mouth and called me a kiss ass while he brushed off the imaginary brown residue that rested upon the top nub of his nose. Ugh, seriously.
I felt like I was ripped out of that positive feel good moment into a negative one where I instantly had to defend myself. “Omg, what, no, that wasn’t my intention,” I responded quickly while feeling embarrassed and questioning my social skills.
You bet your sweet ass I spent the rest of the class over thinking my words, his words, and the reactions and opinions of everyone else, while the whole world moved on from this petty social situation. In my mind, I threw a Kim Kardashian tantrum. But on the outside, barely speaking, smiling and nodding like a disempowered young woman in a man’s world.
I was shocked by my fellow student’s comment because I seriously wasn’t trying to brown nose at all. It was intended to be a moment of good karma, unconditional gift giving, letting another artist know his work was appreciated by another artist from another city. It all came from a good place, and I let some insecure nit wit destroy the moment.
I let it happen. I let it affect me. I take full responsibility.
Yeah I know, I started this off a little “victimy” but that’s my tendency in the moment, and if we had the time I’d love to flesh out my history to help you understand why, but I’d have to pay you $150 an hour for at least 342 hours, but I’m a starving artist and I just don’t have that kind of money to spend right now.
Luckily, I do know how to take back my power and it’s as simple as taking responsibility for my actions and reactions.
In the words of one of my favorite thought leaders, Jack Canfield: “If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in your life.” (Read his book now! Seriously!)
So here’s how I go back and break down that awkward situation to see what I could learn from it… (See, sometimes over-thinking can be a good thing.)
// WHAT I LEARNED
The turd of a student isn’t actually a turd, so I take that back. He was just as anxious and awkward as I am (duh we’re both in comedy writing, so obvi). And I remembered that he actually volunteered to be the “leader” of our class and organize the online arena for us to participate in. So clearly he was the pot calling the kettle black. He felt insecure about my connection with the teacher, and wanted to re-establish his rank (in his own mind of course), which prompted the mean-spirited remark. Blurg, this is so high school.
My reaction had nothing to do with him or what he said. It may have appeared as such in the moment, but clearly I was feeling insecure myself and didn’t want to make a bad impression in a new school, in a new town, on my first day. I clearly had expectations of the day and of my interactions with students and teachers, and realized that maybe when I did share the praise with my teacher, that maybe I also wanted to look good and be accepted.
Yeah, so I realized, I was indeed being a kiss ass after all. Sue me. (No, please don’t. Again, I’m a starving artist and money is super tight right now. It was just a figure of speech.)
// THE MORAL OF THE STORY
Every human in our life is a teacher, and every experience is a classroom. If you must react, react. But allow yourself the space and self-love to return to the awkward and uncomfortable moments with a clear head so you can find the delicious life lesson nestled inside a crunchy candy shell (sadly colored with red dye #3). And that’s how we grow as chia pets, err I mean, good people.
For the record, I will be kind and encouraging with my fellow students and colleagues, and I will remember that they’re all just as awkward and anxious as I am. I’m not saying that by being forgiving and understanding I’m going to be a quiet little mouse that lets the glass ceiling descend over me until it squashes me into a meek mouse pudding. No way, Monet! I’m too old to let anyone rain on my Disney Electrical Parade.
Now bring on the comedy because humans are funny AF.
May the cackle be with you…
PS: Did you know you can access the Mirror Mirror archives by clicking here? You’re welcome!
// NOW IT’S YOUR TURN TO DISH
Let me know what you thought about this week’s Mirror Mirror. What kind of thoughts, opinions or confusion did it create for you? If you’d like to spark up a discussion, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, say what you need to say, and let’s make it happen. I’d love to hear from you!
// SEEKING CONSTANT APPROVAL
Even though I hate social media, I’m constantly sucked into it for narcissistic relief, so let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That way, I can talk about myself, and you can like, follow, and heart. I may or may not reciprocate, depending on how self-absorbed I’m feeling on any given day.
// SOME WORDS ABOUT ME
I’m a comedy writer, self-help author, and podcast host. As a Second City trained comedian I love to write jokes, perform improv, and produce shows. With my books on Amazon, I empower readers everywhere to access their inner magic. You can also find me interviewing fellow authors from all over the world with my She Wrote A Book podcast. And I’ve been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX. My obsessions include karaoke, my furbaby, and everything Disney.
// LEGAL STUFF
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