STILL TRIP’N – Episode 29
Quick one today! Uncle Dave on Still Trip’n talks about challenging some kids he was working with to try the “Smile Experiment”. Basically, they smile. But not just any smile. A smile that represents who they really are.
He doesn’t make the distinction in the podcast, but I want to look at this for just a second: Smiling a smile that represents who you truly are and how you want to show up in the world, is different than smiling a smile that has something to do with how the other person is showing up in the world.
Do you see the difference?
There really isn’t any more I’m going to say today about the smile experiment.
The principle taught in this episode is this: LAW OF ATTRACTION vs THE LAW OF ATTENTION.
“A lot of people do things that they think will make them look good, or make them popular. And those things get a lot of attention. Good looks. Money. Nice car. Super athletic. Really good musician. Great YouTube channel.
But whatever it may be that makes them popular doesn’t necessarily make them attractive. It just gets them a lot of attention.”
I like that Dave talks to his listeners on their level – teenagers, in this case. Attraction verses attention. And this applies to a teenage girl trying to impress a teenage boy. But it also applies to an adult trying to seek approval from the people around them.
Does that ever happen?
First, understand this. You and I are 100% worthy, just the way we are. You and I are 100% lovable, just the way we are. And I don’t need anyone’s approval, because I have my own, and I have God’s.
But sometimes I see a person that I would really like to be friends with. And maybe I’m not on their radar. And that is fine. That doesn’t make me feel unworthy. But I still would like them to notice me, right?
If I tried to get that person to notice me by trying to get their attention, that could look like many things. It could look like me dying my hair pink or me singing an obnoxious song at the top of my lungs. That would certainly get their attention. Or, maybe more subtly, it could look like me giving a really well thought-out comment in the meeting, or me telling a really good joke.
When I was in Jr High, I had a lot of friends. In fact, in the yearbook, after a school vote, I was voted the person who is “friends with the most people”. I loved people. But I also felt some pressure to get people to love me back. And if I didn’t feel like I was getting that attention, my go-to was to pop a joke. The jokes were never inappropriate. But, once, my effort to make up a joke, to get everyone’s attention, turned into me making-fun of an unpopular girl named Jamie. I don’t remember many names from Jr High, but I remember Jamie’s name. And everyone laughed, and one kid cracked, “And THAT coming from RACHEL!” And the feeling that I had, that that comment had come from ME, distracted me so much the rest of the day, that I ended up asking my teacher to excuse me to go to the counselor’s office. And there I told my counselor what I had said, and I asked her if she could call Jamie into the office so I could apologize to her, right then and there.
This is the first time I remember realizing that attraction was different than attention. I could easily get attention. Too easily, right? And that was fleeting – attention. But what I really wanted – and for the whole of my life – was attraction. I wanted people to be attracted to me.
What about attraction? What does attraction look like, then?
To me it looks like respect. It looks like curiosity. It feels good – less urgent, less pressure.
Blog posts have become a tender mercy to me, in my day-to-day life, as well as my life progression. Every day I have had the opportunity to blow my own mind, to consider something I had never before considered. To look at my life – all 40 years of it – from a set of lenses I’ve never before experienced. To look at my future, and to create my future, now. To see more clearly, and with less judgement. I am so grateful to the Lord for that long night, almost 200 days ago.