Thank You Sheryl Underwood: Taking Control of Negative Words

September 24, 2014 • Featured, Life • Views: 6607

Last week, the internet was abuzz when comedienne, Sheryl Underwood reveled a her secret on an episode of “The Talk.” Sheryl said that she’d been pegged to join Ms. Laura, Adele Givens & Sommore on the second installment of “The Queens of Comedy.” When she joined a conference call early, she overheard the other three ladies talking poorly about her.

The clip from the show went viral and there has been so much commentary on everything from whether or not it happened to Sheryl’s own reputation to her motivation for sharing. I think all of that commentary misses the point and the reason why it resonated with so many people, including me.

The beauty of the moment was not the “gotcha” of any of the comedians, but about the way in which Sheryl decided to respond to it. Instead of lashing out or even seeking revenge she decided to take their words and use what she could to make herself better. She controlled how the negative words blossomed in her spirit.

Recently, a friend in jest called me arrogant. I’m a firm believer that there is always a bit of truth in every joke. At first, it stung me because no one likes to hear that they are arrogant. Confidence is a good thing. Arrogance is not.

Once I got passed the sting of the comment, I decided to process it as a teachable moment. Mainly because I know the friend that said it loves me dearly and meant no harm. So, over the next day or so I analyzed my actions that could be construed as arrogant.  And, you know what, she was right – I have some tendencies that could be construed as arrogance.

It was a good exercise for me because it helped me to see things outside of myself. True, we are not responsible for how people react to things we do, but we are responsible for our actions.  And if, your behavior is not consistent with your intent then, adjustments should be made.  I’ll certainly be making some adjustments to make sure the way my behavior is exhibited is in line with my intent.

By taking it as a learning experience I didn’t allow the potential negativity of  my friend’s words (and the emotions connected to it) to control me. I can honestly say that listening to Sheryl’s testimony was encouragement and a reminder for me to do just that in the situation.  Because of it, I was able to create an opportunity for growth just as Sheryl had done.

With that said, I am also a student of the school of not allowing negative words from others to govern how you feel about yourself. People are often cruel because they themselves are hurting. So, you certainly can’t go around believing all the crap people say and think about you. You know yourself better than anyone.

But, when someone who truly loves you (or even when someone who doesn’t) gives you a word that can possibly help you grow; take control of it, embrace the lesson and move forward in light.


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One Response to Thank You Sheryl Underwood: Taking Control of Negative Words

  1. Alvin says:

    Nice. I enjoyed reading your write-up and received the same messages from Sheryl’s story as you did. The line that resonated with me, outside of the other golden nuggets, is when she says, ‘Rarely do we have the opportunity to get this feedback’. Or she says something to that effect — I can’t remember verbatim. The shade in it is that the women would not have given the feedback directly (would have said it to her face) as did your good friend. Whichever way you get it, feedback is indeed a gift.

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