She smiled as I walked over to her . Then, I knocked a bottle of water out of her hand.
It was a joke. I didn’t mean any actual disrespect by what I did. I even went for a replacement bottle of water for her immediately after. When I offered it she said, “no” and made a quick movement away from me.
At that point, I realized she didn’t think it was funny at all and I made a big mistake.
The Golden Rule
Since elementary school, I’ve been slapping things out of the hands of my friends. That’s probably where it should have stayed too. I assumed it would be something playful between the two of us. But, I was wrong.
The Golden Rule states, we should treat others the way we would like to be treated.
This rule makes it easy for me to dismiss my friend as someone who’s no fun. Adding to that, I could easily say I wouldn’t mind if she slapped a bottle of water out of my hand and leave it at that.
The problem is, both of these statements belittle the fact I did something she considered offensive. As a result, I have to take her feelings into consideration.
As a result of this situation, I realized the golden rule is dead.
The Platinum Rule
Although, slapping a water bottle out of my hand isn’t something I would have taken as a disrespectful act, my friend did. It was obvious very quickly that she didn’t like it and I was in the wrong.
This is where the Platinum Rule comes in. The Platinum Rule states, we should not only treat people how we would like to be treated, we should treat others how they would like to be treated.
It’s a misguided assumption to believe that everyone would like to be treated like you. I was wrong in the assumption my actions would be taken as light hearted playfulness. In the end, I upset a friend.
Her reaction told me that’s not how she would like to be treated. I’ve since taken note of this and it will never happen again.
In the beginning, always treat others the way you would like to be treated. As you get to know them, pay close attention to their subtle hints as to how they would like you to treat them.
Out with the old and in with the new. The death of the golden rule makes room for the platinum rule to take over.
Remember, not everyone is like you. Take mental notes of this. The platinum rule is simple and will allow your interactions with others to be better in the long run.
Better interactions means less drama. And, take a wild guess as to what is the best way to learn how others would like to be treated? Just ask.
What is a situation you’ve experienced that could have been made better by the platinum rule? Comment below.
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