Monday Motivation: Laughter Is Ten Times More Powerful Than Screaming

monstercomedyIn my house we are definitely in the Disney era.  Every time we introduce a new movie, we watch it many, many times in a very short timespan.  In the Peter Pan era we had a little Captain Hook running around our house.  In The Incredibles phase I fielded endless questions beginning with “Is Mr Incredible stronger than…” and “Is Dash faster than…”  In the Monsters Inc era every door was a warp zone to the monster world and we had several makeshift door shredders in our house.

I’m amazed at the way in which Disney fills their movies with funny and often relevant messages for all ages.  No message is more relevant than that of Monsters Inc when Sully and Mike come to the realization that laughter is ten times more powerful than screaming. 

I’m going to confess something here today and I’m asking you not to judge me.  As a father I have yelled at my kids and as a customer service professional, I have yelled at customers.  Cue the dramatic music.  In the moment, yelling can offer instant gratification and relief from frustration.  It seems as if that is the only way to restore order and get the upper hand and yet I have found that more times than not, it only serves to exacerbate the problem.

This simple message from a Disney movie rings so true.  While it may be difficult to make the jump in a difficult situation from anger and frustration to smiles and laughter, I am reminded of the habit from The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People of seeking first to understand before being understood.  When entering into a situation with a customer or a loved one that is potentially contentious, remember the importance of seeking to understand and that screaming rarely accomplishes anything positive.  

My new and improved self has been working really hard to be slow to be offended and maintain a cool head in all situations.  Rather than yelling I have found that reason and understanding work so much better.  As we enter a new week, may you err on the side of understanding, patience and even laughter and see if it truly does give you that extra push and energy that screaming and impatience do not.


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  • Great post, Jeremy. I especially appreciate your willingness to admit that you’ve somtimes yelled. We all have. I don’t trust anyone who pretends to be perfect. The key, as you point out, is recognizing that there are better alternatives and constaintly working to improve.

    Well done!

    • Thank you Jeff! It’s a proven fact that the moment I put it in a blog post it becomes instant accountability. Thanks for joining me in my journey toward self-awareness!

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