Walking off the stage after delivering the “Can I Kiss You?” program to an incoming class at Colorado Mesa University, I noticed three parents waiting for me at the back of the room. The grim looks on their faces and their crossed arms immediately triggered me to worry, “They don’t look to happy. I wonder what I did wrong?”
When I got to the back of the room, all three parents turned toward me, each saying their own version of , “Why wasn’t EVERY student mandated to hear this program? Our kids were in here and we are thrilled!”
With relief that their anger was not for me, I explained, “The school did make this a mandatory event. It’s their first year doing this and so they are still figuring out how to enforce attendance.”
“Every college student needs to hear these skills,” one Dad said.
Suddenly the door swings open and a staff member says, “Ah, excuse me. Your microphone is on.”
You can imagine the horror on all of our faces. I turned the microphone off. “Too late idiot!” was my first thought.
The parents said, “If our daughter recognized our voices, she is going to KILL us!”
Then I realized, “I’m okay if anyone heard that conversation because the parents were endorsing the message and I was supporting the school’s efforts to make a positive difference.” The funny part was realizing that parents get as self-conscious as their teens about being caught speaking honestly!
Isn’t it odd how sometimes we fear the worst when we’re just being ourselves? First, I thought the parents were offended. Wasn’t true. Then for a split second I thought the live mic was a disaster that would require epic damage control efforts. Also not true.
Share one of those times when your first reaction was to think the worst first when there actually was nothing to be ashamed of. What about with your kids? Ever start reacting to someone’s reaction based on wrong assumptions?