Warm-hearted vs. Soft-hearted

While at work, a few of my coworkers and I were asked to find words that best described ourselves. Two of these words caught my attention as they could surely be argued as synonymous with one another, but I feel as if there is a very large distinction between the two: warm-hearted and soft-hearted.

Warm-hearted to me means kind, friendly, and empathetic. It means caring about people and treating them with respect when they show the same kindness. It would involve genuinely feeling for someone, not in unison with someone, but in reaction to another’s feelings.

Soft-hearted to me means overly nice, emotionally involved, and overly sympathetic. Instead of understanding and seeking to support people, soft-hearted people would experience the pain with them and become weaker for it. 

Being soft-hearted to me means you allow another to burden you with their pain or weakness. Your friend is going through a bad break-up, your heart breaks, too. You watch a sad commercial or movie and are in tears.

If you were warm-hearted, you’d build that friend back up again, be strong for them, and help them through the rough time. If you saw a sad commercial for ASPCA, you’d go out and adopt a pet, or donate your time and/or money to the cause. You wouldn’t allow it to affect you negatively, but use it as a driver for something positive.

Soft-hearted, while still needed in some situations in the world, I’m sure, is not where I would categorize myself. Warm-hearted is much more like it.

Block negativity, allow success

As I sit in traffic, already late for work, two stories I once heard play through my mind. Now, it’s not often that I find myself in these situations, but every once in a while, when I have a bout of bad luck or things just aren’t going my way. These stories put a smile on my face and make me rethink my attitude.

The first is a religious based story in that it is a man talking to God, and regardless of your belief, we can all agree that there is something bigger to this life than just living. Take it for the moral of the story, please, and not a sermon. Below is just an excerpt; find the full story here.

   Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?

GOD: Sure.

   Me (frustrated): Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today? I woke up late.

GOD: Yes

   Me: My car took forever to start.

GOD: Okay.

   Me (loudly): Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?

GOD: Well let me see….. the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

   Me (humbled): Oh.

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road.

   Me (ashamed): …………

This story alone is powerful in that sometimes things happen to you so something does or doesn’t. Your car may not have started, but you met your future husband at the repair shop. You may have lost your job, but it just opened you up to pursue your real passion. Whether you believe in luck or fate, sometimes things happen or don’t that can just have a snowball effect in you life. Take it all in, enjoy each moment, even the less desirable ones, because one day, maybe even the next move, could lead to something better.

The next “story” is actually an article I read as part of one of my professional memberships with IAAP. I can’t find the link, but when I do, I will be sure to share. 

The article posted a question about what kind of person you are. Are you the kind who let’s one negative event such as waking up late seep into your attitude and taint your entire day? Or, are you the kind of person who can brush off these one-off events and move on to the next moment in life without letting it manipulate the rest of your day?

The article goes on to say that those who can single these negative moments out and keep them from effecting their attitude as the day goes on, someone who can “roll with the punches”, is more successful in their lives and just happier in their day-to-day. For that reason alone, I try to remember this article and refuse to allow myself to sink into the negativity of a single event. As Taylor Swift says, “Shake it off!”

So as another minute ticks by on the clock, I try to keep these ideas in mind. For some reason, I wasn’t meant to be at work at my normal time, and I refuse to beat myself up over it for the rest of the day.  I’ll take the bad with the good and only focus on one moment in the hourglass of my life at a time.