The Honeycomb Edition

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November 23, 2015

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Controlling Your Narrative



The holiday season can be the happiest of times but also the messiest. With so many festivities during the end of the year, people have the natural inclination to ask about your personal life.

Depending on your current events, you might have some matters you would rather not touch. After all, it is your life and your business. Still, some details of our lives cannot escape public consumption. Maybe a job everyone thought you had fell through, a relationship collapsed, or any other occurrence this generation of over-sharing might spring on you. When this happens, it is important to directly address it.

Once you enter adulthood, of course, you are not obligated to explain how you live your life; however, people will talk regardless. The key is not to become consumed by their discussion but rather shape the discussion.

The news that hits people’s ears first tends to control the narrative. Whatever time of the year you find yourself becoming a hot topic, here are a few ways you can spin it all in your favor:

  • First, stop beating yourself up about the disappointment. Learn from it. Be accountable for your part in the situation. Still, not properly regulating your internal struggles will at some point stifle your overall productivity. If we live long enough, we will all have something we wished the world did not have to see play out. Forgive yourself and use this as an opportunity to grow.
  • If you know the topic has already began to circulate among other people or will eventually become known, be the first to say it. Being the first to address a topic allows you to set the standard. Anything said after your statement will be measured by your words. It is your life, so you should not give anyone the inadvertent privilege of speaking on your behalf.
  • People usually magnify a situation by based on how embarrassed they think you will be concerning the circumstances. Addressing the issue forthright lets people know that this issue will not have you walking on eggshells. No fact that you acknowledge can be used against you effectively. The allure of the gossip mill automatically fades when you do not try to sidestep a scandal or setback.
  • Many of the gossipers do not mean you well, but be considerate of those who are true friends, significant others, close family, and other valued relationships. One of the most hurtful things is to learn a major occurrence “in the streets” about someone you are close to. If you know that a “secret” is only a Facebook click or a group text away from revealed, please let your good friends, lovers, and relatives know. For one, people close to you will be find it painful that you did not have enough confidence in the bond that you could come to them about your difficulty. Additionally, anyone who is really down for you would rather help you pick up the pieces rather than kick you while you are down.

Whether it be the holidays or not, anytime is a good time to free yourself from the opinions of others. Rather than wonder what people are saying, you should say what needs to be said. Let the world know where you stand—the rest is irrelevant.

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