If you are excited about the changes you are making in your life, you probably want to share. If you have shared your experience, you may have found that sometimes people really just don’t want to hear it. What is the best approach to sharing as you make big life changes?
Just like sharing your eco-friendly lifestyle choices with your children, we need to recognize that the choices and decisions all belong with the other person. Make sure you are sharing without judging. Don’t let your sharing become bullying.
My Lessons Learned from Birth Stories
I have become especially aware of the perils of sharing when it comes to birth choices. I love to share my experience of birth. I realized over time that just talking about my birth choices and experiences was seen by some as a judgment. I didn’t intend it that way, and I didn’t say my way is the right way, but people are especially sensitive about their choices. The result can be tense. So I am less likely, maybe even unlikely, to share unless asked, and I make an extra effort to keep myself more aware of how to share without triggering a negative response.
Also, when a woman is pregnant, she’s in the middle of her journey and doesn’t need my baggage on her trip.
Now, I’m always careful in how I ask about birth plans and expectations. I end a conversation with a pregnant woman about birth by saying, “I hope the birth goes exactly as you want it to.” My wish is sincere, and it doesn’t add my own expectations where they don’t belong.
My experience with birth stories helped me to share with greater compassion and understanding for the perspectives of others. My experience is just mine. I do want to connect with others, but I don’t want to impose my truths on them.
Your Baby Steps Aren’t My Baby Steps
Your eco baby steps aren’t necessarily my eco baby steps. I try to share my steps, and I want to hear what steps you are taking or aspiring to take. You’re out there taking steps that haven’t even occurred to me yet, and I want to know all about those as well!
Don’t let worry keep you from talking. The conversations are inspiring. We all want to take steps to improve home and world for our families. Sharing how we do that is a catalyst to new ideas and an inspiration to action. Making these connections is such a pleasure, and we develop new relationships around these conversations. So, talk!
Where to Start?
When you want to share your new choices, start by listening. Ask questions. Establish an understanding of what you share in common with others. Then share your experience where it differs after you have established a level of trust.
Sharing gently and genuinely is an art. I’m sure I fail every day, but I try again to improve.
I know from our recent customer survey that many of you want to find ways to educate family and friends without offending them. Next week, I will try to help you find those ways to share.
Image © Edward Bartel | Dreamstime.com