“It’s opposite day! No means yes and yes means no.” How many times have we heard that before? No doubt we said it when we were kids and chances are your kiddos have said it to you at least a hundred times. If you think about it, it’s kind of weird how universal it is. It’s not restricted to a certain area of the country or specific culture, yet children everywhere play this silly game where what you mean is actually the opposite of what you say.
Lately, I’ve been trying to put a new spin on opposite day. Whenever I’m feeling frustrated, angry, sad or even just ‘meh’, I try to do the opposite. For example, if I am super frustrated about a situation at work or with the kids, I try to find something to do that will make someone else feel good. It could be as simple as buying a birthday present or taking care of a chore that you know your spouse does not like to do. Or if I am feeling sad or disappointed, I send a text or funny picture to a friend. Whatever it is, the feelings around the action are the opposite of the way I’m truly feeling. Like some mornings I feel too tired to work out, instead of crawling back into bed, I’ll go for a walk instead of a run, no headphones and just enjoy watching everything wake up around me.
An amazing thing happens when you do the opposite, you actually start to feel the opposite. It may not happen all at once and it won’t erase what upset you in the first place, but when you come back to it, your perspective will have changed. Not only that, but you have also had an impact on the other person you reached out to. The birthday present you bought or chore you did or text you sent may have come just at the right time for the other person. Here’s the tricky thing – you may never know the impact your action had on them. Or your action may lead to that person doing something that leads to something else, you’ll just never know. Often it’s the smallest moments, the moments that we don’t give a second thought to – a smile, an open door, a simple favor, that have the ability to completely change the trajectory of someone’s day.
You may think this is easier said than done and you’d be right! If you want help incorporating this into your everyday life, I can help. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set up a time to get started.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.