By: Brianne Hogan, Guest Blogger
My friend Elaine messaged me the other day about having problems with two of her co-workers. The females in question were giving Elaine a hard time and dropping rude comments about her. Elaine, who’s a peacemaker by nature, thought ignoring them would cause them to stop; it didn’t. My advice was to do the opposite of what she was used to and to call them out on their behavior.
“You’ve gotta flip the script,” I said. And it worked.
I first heard the term, “flip the script” from one of my best friends, Katie, when I was in my mid-twenties and crying over my latest disappointment. It might have been over my on-and-off relationship with my then-boyfriend, or it could have been over a recent job rejection or a snarky comment from a customer at the restaurant where I worked (there were a lot of disappointments back then).
What I do remember clearly is feeling that life was majorly ripping me off at that time. I asked a lot of whys. “Why me? Why now? Why is this happening to me?” It was then when Katie said me, oh-so-matter-of-factly: “Honey, you’ve gotta flip the script.” She was right.
Oxford Dictionary defines “flip the script” as: “to reverse the usual or existing positions in a situation; do something unexpected and revolutionary.” It’s basically doing the opposite of what you’re doing to gain a better result. Remember that Seinfeld episode when George decided to do the opposite of everything he’s ever done because his life isn’t what he desired? It’s kind of like that. However, I like to think that when you “flip the script” you’re not doing it necessarily to achieve something; you do it so you can see the world as a kinder place and to remind yourself of your own awesomeness.
Once I flipped the script on how I perceived the world, things started shifting for me in lovely ways: I coped better with disheartening outcomes; I discovered different parts of myself and became more confident and resourceful; my connections to others became more loving, less dramatic.
Still, sometimes I have a tendency to assume the worst and get all Negative Nancy when (seemingly) things aren’t working out the way I hoped. For example, when an editor doesn’t respond to my pitch within my personal time frame – like, say, a very reasonable 15 minutes -- my first thought is: “They hate my idea! I’m a terrible writer! I shall never work ever again!” This train of thought just leads me further down the rabbit hole of disappointment and rejection and low self-confidence. But, when I remember to flip the script, my first thought is changed to: “It’s lunchtime, she’s probably eating a sandwich. Or she might be super busy. She’ll get back to me. And if she doesn’t like my pitch, I’ll just pitch something else and keep trying. I’ve got tons of good ideas.” Not only does flipping the script reinstate my self-worth – and keep my creative juices flowing – but it also reminds me to view the other (in this case, the editor) as someone who’s loving and considerate.
This also goes for the friend who’s running late or the cashier who gave some ‘tude. Instead of thinking: “She’s so selfish. She doesn’t care about my feelings!” or “What did I do to him? He’s so rude!” try flipping the script. Your friend might have missed the bus or she had to help her mom out with a last-minute errand. Maybe the cashier has a sick relative or is just having a crappy day. Like attracts like, so when you are putting out awesomely positive energy, you’ll often end up receiving it back.
The world becomes a much gentler place of infinite possibilities when you start to flip the old script of, “Why is this happening to me?” for the “why is this happening for me?”
You are an audacious and truly original person with loads of potential. There isn’t one way to be – there’s your way to be. Flip the script in your life and see what a difference it makes.
We can all relate to Brianne's story! Have you tried flipping the script? Give it a shot and tell us about what happens here!
Brianne is a writer based in Toronto. Her instincts and love of adventure have led her to interesting jobs (grass cutter and wine seller, to name a few), as well long-terms stays in beautiful cities (New York City, Vancouver and Florence). Follow Brianne on Twitter www.twitter.com/briannehogan & check out more on Tumblr briannehogan.tumblr.com
image via liveboldandbloom.com