Recently I wrote about how having soft skills doesn’t mean you’re ‘nice’. I think it’s worth also mentioning that having good soft skills doesn’t mean you’ll be permanently cheery!
Some people seem a little confused about this, and as a result…
I hesitate to mention to anyone
when I’m having a blue day.
But perhaps because I’m a soft skills ‘expert’ I hear it more often.
People can be under the impression that if I’m not permanently cheery then the soft skills aren’t being effective.
And rather than the chummy and supportive cheering-up I’m reaching out for, I run the risk of getting a ‘doctor heal thyself’ type of response.
Or something along the lines of, “Oh dear, the soft skills not working so well then!”
Actually, the soft skills help me curb any knee jerk response to their comments ;)
Seriously, I’m grateful to them for highlighting what I suspect is another soft skills misunderstanding.
Nothing can guarantee perpetual happiness.
We know that perpetual happiness is as irrational – and ultimately as undesirable – as expecting every day to be sunny (especially in England!), everything always to go to plan, and everybody to behave as you’d wish them to.
But we can feel wrong for being unhappy.
Or can be made to feel we’re failing, especially if wellbeing is part of our work identity.
It’s even a bit shameful to be unhappy, with so much to be grateful for, etc.
So it becomes a double whammy!
But occasional sadness is totally natural.
And it’s necessary.
Feeling unhappy is a chance to listen to yourself.
Having good soft skills doesn’t mean we can avoid the blue days – or even wish to.
Having soft skills means we’ve the adaptability to make the most of them.
To use them as a time for reflection.
To learn from them.
Soft skills give us the self-awareness to expect and accept the blue days.
And the confidence to know that they won’t last.
If you’re having a blue day, make the most of it.
And if someone does you the honour of reaching out to you on one of their blue days, don’t give them a double whammy!
Instead, use it as an opportunity to practice your own soft skills.
Think about how you feel on your blue days.
That way, they’ll be cheery before you know it!
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