Today’s issue will be a little bit different…
I have a handful of themes that all fall under the category of, “I am not an idiot.”
Not just me having that reaction.
Rather, ANYBODY having that reaction. Including your prospects.
This is really powerful stuff. Nobody wants to feel like an idiot. Yet, by the end of this issue you’ll see clearly all the ways we’re often subtly told that we are idiots. Even by the people who love us.
So without any further ado, let’s get into my reflections on the “I am not an idiot” theme…
Reflection #1: Success stories from doing what I tell you to do…
This is kind of the opposite. At least, in the reader who responded to yesterday’s essay.
It’s gratifying to receive emails like the one you’re about to read, because essentially what they’re saying is, “You are not an idiot!”
They took my advice. Followed it. And got the results I suggested they would.
Here’s the email I received after yesterday’s essay that included the advice to get a marketing job before you try to pick a freelance copywriting niche…
I’ve been meaning to thank you for so openly sharing the merits of getting a marketing job.
For a long time I held the belief that getting a job would be a backwards step. Then a few months ago the reality of credit card debt and my slow progress as a freelancer “forced” a change in attitude.
Anyway, I’m now working as a Digital Marketing Manager for a local web agency. And it was a great move!
I’m launching an SEM service, learning a ton, and the outcome independence has made me more effective, more motivated, and much less needy in my copywriting work.
My point is: hearing your repeated assessment of the benefits of a marketing career triggered my change in attitude — no doubt. And for that I am very grateful.
Thank you so much.
To those of you who read my daily essays…
Who get inspiration and a daily dose of intellectual entertainment…
But who are not actively taking action on what I’m recommending for you to do…
Let this email be your reminder, “I am not an idiot.”
Reflection #2: “No buts, no coconuts…”
“Stop yelling at your sister!”
“No buts, no coconuts!”
We both laugh…
Between my three kids, I think I have a variation of this happen about 50 times per day.
I try to correct behavior. To get them to take personal responsibility for how they contributed to conflict. They immediately shift the blame elsewhere. And I get frustrated because the implication is that I’m the one who’s wrong about what’s going on.
Now I’ll admit, I probably need to be sensitive here to creating the reaction in them of, “I am not an idiot…”
And yet, every time my attempt at behavioral correction is met with a “but” and a deflection, I feel a wash of frustration come over me.
I was there. I saw or heard what happened. I know what was going on, and who contributed to the conflict.
“I am not an idiot.”
This is totally normal and developmentally-appropriate in children.
And you’d think we’d grow out of it.
Yet it’s all too common for us to do this toward each other, too.
Reflection #3: Emotional bids, improv acting, and the “yeah, but…”
My recent essay about emotional bids struck a chord, even though it was slightly off-brand.
I believe that’s one of the most powerful concepts you can understand for living a happy life, full of good relationships. Not just with your spouse or partner, but with coworkers, friends, family, and more.
And because I’m back in weekly improv classes, I think about the “yes, and” approach to life a lot. That is, the way that we honor, accept, and appreciate someone is by saying “yes, and” to whatever they bring to the moment.
The reality is, most of us are doing the absolute best with what we have, every moment of the day. Our reactions and contributions to the world around us are the result of our sum total experience. Even the person who you think is doing something really stupid is probably doing about what you would do, if your background and experience matched theirs — and you’d be thinking you were doing the best thing in that situation.
When you consider that, you meet people with “yes, and” — even if you use that “and” as a way to change directions entirely.
If you respond to them instead with a “yeah, but,” you’re NOT accepting, NOT honoring, NOT appreciating them. In fact, when you say “yeah, but,” their subconscious reaction to this rejection will almost always be, “I am not an idiot…”
Do that a little bit, and you’ll likely be forgiven. Even the best relationships involve the partners turning against or away from each other’s’ emotional bids 14% of the time.
And yet overwhelmingly — about 5 out of 6 times — an emotional bid in the context of a healthy, enduring relationship is met with a “yes, and.”
In other words, healthy relationships are invariably those where the partners are constantly, subconsciously telling each other, “You are not an idiot.”
Final thought: be careful who you call an idiot, and find ways to tell people you care about that they are NOT one…
This is, of course, much more subtle.
Covered by the veneer of polite society, most of us don’t run around all day calling each other idiots.
But underneath that veneer, it’s easy to get into the pattern of subtle rejection.
It’s easy for our automatic response to be a “yeah, but” or other invalidation.
This hurts. Especially through time.
It leads to a chronic sense of guilt and inferiority, and a lot of lingering pain.
We’re good at covering it up. We have a million masks we wear. Some of us turn to our various addictions to try to fill that hole.
It’s not easy.
Self-improvement, self-love, and self-respect are the first step out. The second is healthy connections with people who meet your emotional bids.
In short, you need to tell yourself, “I am NOT an idiot,” and believe it. And surround yourself with others who tell you, “You are NOT an idiot,” who also believe it.
And if your product or service helps your prospects on that path to healing, consider how you can use Emotional Direct Response Copywriting to connect with them in that space of darkness, and lead them toward the light.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,