Do You Take Air Out or Fill Air Up?

I live, eat, and breathe wellness. Like we say at Cadre, #wellnesscantwait

After some tough days at work, I appreciate running, long conversations with my wife, meditation, reading, strength training, biking, cold plunges, playing sports with my children, or even taking a long sauna.

Well, yesterday was one of those days that I enjoyed a sauna to destress.

I normally find myself in silence, focusing on my breathing and letting my mind drift off into a hypnotic state. This day was different. I actually engaged in two rather deep conversations, with two very different people. I couldn’t believe the vast difference between both men. What I felt from each conversation was also rather jarring….how our conversations made me feel.

First Individual.

He referred to himself as Stubbs. He was probably in his late 60’s early 70’s.

He was a custodian for the same organization for 28 years. He then finished his career working for the University of Minnesota.

  • Energy
  1. He came in and dropped a joke. I didn’t even catch it all, but the punch line was “Mount Rushmore”. I smiled and gave him a Bronx cheer. All smiles. Affable
  2. He had a energetic disposition to him. Asking me if I was “retired?” With another cool hand Luke joke to it, followed by another bit of playful comedy, “”Skywalker”…poking fun at my name in good fun. Inquisitive and Humor
  3. Asked if I just started my workout or ending it? Gave me huge props for length of time in sauna already (25 minutes). Encouraging
  • Attitude
  1. Smiling, laughing, joking, inquisitive, positive, and cheerful. Overall, just an amazing attitude. Full of life!
  2. When he walked out the door, he thanked me. He literally thanked me saying, “You made my day. I rarely don’t get this type of conversation in a day”. He also said that he hopes to see me again sometime soon again. Lifted up my spirits

A memorable experience for which I was grateful and energized after a stressful day. Stubbs, you are the man!

Second Individual

He came storming in. Within a few seconds. “It’s too hot in here” He was probably in his late 30’s early 40’s. I knew right away he was one of “those guys”.

  • Energy
  1. Not a smile for the duration of the time in the sauna. Annoyance
  2. He talked about how the next generation is killing the workforce and they are entitled. Further, he then explained how his managerial experience would be better in his current role if there weren’t micromanagers above him. Irritated
  3. Not once did he ask a question or anything. It was simply spewing negativity with every word. Everything and everyone was out to get him 5 minutes was all I could take. Pessimist
  • Attitude
  1. negative, victim, frustrated, irritated, almost felt like he was slightly upset at me for some reason! Crazy how negativity can make you feel and breed! What if I took the bait and joined in?
  2. I couldn’t believe how self absorbed he was/is. It’s almost as if someone put a quarter in him and he hit the play button for 5 straight minutes. All I could think was, “if he does this to me, imagine what he must do at work with his teammates, or god forbid his direct reports”. Worried about those other humans that he has run ins with. Is he making the world a better place?
  3. I felt bad for him. My gut, no one has had the guts to tell him how they felt or they have commiserated in his anguish for a minute, hour, day, week, month, or heaven forbid a year. Spewing the victim role in life is just bad business.

So, I got all set and prepared to leave the facility. I thought about it long and hard, and determined it was best to be direct and let him know how my experience was so different between the two individuals, most notably, him. Sometimes, you don’t know what you don’t know. I hope someone would tell me if I took the air out of the room.

So, I did just that. In a very calm and collected manner, I asked him if he was ok? And told him about my first 25 minutes with Stubbs and the second 5 with him. We had an awesome conversation.

I hope my cool, calm, collected nature of feedback from my experience hopefully will move the needle in his life so he can make some behavioral modifications to become more likable. When you give feedback coming from a place of love, you can never fail.

Never be afraid to tell someone how you feel. Get over the fear and let them know. Sometimes, you, and they, don’t know what you don’t know.

With that, are you a hot air balloon or a decompressor? Be the person that puts air in the room, meeting, group of friends, family, zoom call, etc. and doesn’t take it out!

Be a hot air balloon and keep lifting others up. Our world needs it more than ever right now!

Love one another, and care and give more of yourself to others,


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