Are You Acting Like You’re Still in High School?


Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Business, Psychology, Relationships, Spirituality, Thought | Posted on 08-01-2016

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Still In High School[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]

I enjoy games as much as the next guy. Especially challenging and fun ones. For instance, this game of life we’re all playing. But some of the “games within the game” that I see all around me seem so unnecessary, and in many ways–hurtful.

Sometimes it even feels like I’m back in high school.

Let’s take politics. It’s the ultimate lose-lose game. We pit one party against the other and then watch as they bash each other to smithereens. In the end we’re left with two candidates who are bloodied and bruised, who nobody likes. And all we know is how horrible they are. Both of them.

It’s the same in our own little worlds, be it work, friendships, family or romantic relationships.

At work we want to climb the ladder to success, with many of us doing whatever it takes to get there. We try to get “in” with those in control, and step on anyone who gets in our way. We try to make others look bad so that we look good. Not to mention all the petty pockets of politics going on in every corner.

Then there are friendships and family. He doesn’t get along with her, and those two can’t be in the same room together. The rest of us have to make sure that if we hang out with one of them that the other isn’t invited. Or even worse, we have to choose one over the other. And God help the person who acts in a way we don’t like. Especially if we’re already in a bad mood. Boom…off the island they go!

And it’s often even worse in romantic relationships. They come with their own set of crazy rules which we have to figure out along the way. We say and believe we love our partner, but it’s generally a very conditional sort of love. As long as they make us happy we love them. But as soon as we’re not happy anymore–we’re done. Kaput. Outta there. And of course, it’s THEIR fault!

No wonder we’re so neurotic and anxious all the time.

The sad thing is that all any of us really want is to be loved. Loved in our work. Loved by our friends. Loved by our parents. Loved by our spouse.

This wanting to be loved and not always feeling like we are causes us to have great insecurities. We don’t mean to act in ways that our friends or coworkers don’t like. But because of our insecurities, we sometimes do or say dumb things.

Does that really call for being voted out of the tribe–for good?

While nobody should have to hang out with anyone they don’t like, does it really have play out like we’re still in high school?

What if we let people be who they are and loved them anyway?

What if what others did and said wasn’t taken personally?

What if we could see our friends, family, colleagues and spouses with new eyes?

What if we could understand that they are not us and realized that that’s a good thing?

What if we were okay with the fact that they’ve had different experiences than us and therefore don’t think the same as we do. That they have their own unique perspective on things, and while it may be different than ours, it’s neither wrong nor bad.

What if we could see that their differences were just that–differences?

What if we really knew what unconditional love was–and what if we actually practiced it? (Even when–no especially when–they were acting at their worst?)

What if it really and truly wasn’t always about us? <Egad!>

Maybe, just maybe, we’d all get along a little bit better.

Maybe, just maybe, we would be less fearful, angry, insecure, bitter and sad.

Maybe, just maybe, we could play this glorious game of life in a different way. In a way that didn’t have to hurt and exclude others. In a way that didn’t cause us to feel the need to fight back and seek revenge.

Maybe, just maybe life would be fun again…

For everyone.

What do you think?

Do you want to continue to see other’s differences, actions and behaviors as an affront to your sensibilities? Or are you ready to embrace them no matter how uncomfortable you think they make you feel?

Are you going to stay in high school for the rest of your life? Or are you ready to graduate?


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Jill is the author of Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety

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For the past 20 years, Jill has consulted with companies big and small, and spoken at conferences all over the world. She is currently a transformational speaker and mentor to businesses, individuals, coaches, leaders, groups and organizations. She helps them uncover their natural well-being and happiness so that they can operate from a clearer state of mind and take their lives and businesses to a higher level.

Jill's blog, What Did You Do With Jill? is a personal account of what she's learned throughout her transformational journey. Jill has many "viral" articles on LinkedIn and is a contributing writer for P.S. I Love You.

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Leave Your Thoughts Below(4)

Hmmm….I agree about being non-judgmental but also think life is best when we surround ourselves with those who hold similar values.

Perhaps. But it shouldn’t have to be that way. Plus we be less apt to grow and learn. Not to mention possibly be bored.

I’m ready to graduate. I want to see people as god do and that thought came to mind as I was reading this. I love to play games and very much addicted to it. If I can get addicted to playing a game with loving the unlovable, praying for the ones that mistreat me etc. That would be awesome what you thinking?

Yes Sabrina! Being able to love the unlovable…that’s an awesome goal!