Shine Bright!

New parents, new lovers, newly converted, people discovering a great new ashram, sport, hobby, or any other infatuation. We all share a common stigma. Most people want us to just shut up already. There is something about falling in love that puts a shine so bright on us that makes some people just want to turn us off.

What kind of trips me out about this phenomenon is that it is socially accepted that shining too brightly is annoying (at best). Like new parents who just can’t stop talking about their beautiful perfect babies are somehow rubbing the rest of our noses in it. I was that guy (okay, I’m always that guy). I couldn’t stop talking about my kids. Even now, I have to remind myself mid-emote, that the general contractor of our new headquarters really doesn’t care, he was just being polite.

So, as a moderately self aware and passably socially competent person, I’ve learned to temper my excitement so as not to piss everybody around me off. This makes me immediately more cool, while simultaneously and proportionally reducing my joy. What’s worse, I’ve been doing this for years. I have intentionally been hiding and diminishing my joy of and excitement about life for years in order to make other people feel more comfortable. That right there is messed up, and I’m going to start working on it right now.

I’m not keen on making anybody else feel less important, nor am I interested in becoming a pariah. I’ve been thinking about this, and experimenting here and there and have come to the conclusion that the key to shining brightly is to make everybody you interact with feel awesome about themselves while you’re at it. My buddy Krister is a wizard at this.  He exudes stoke, both about his own passions and others’.  This is the way it should be. Stoke is an abundant force. It’s like love in that you can always make more. Endless supply meets infinite demand. This is a sustainable ideology.

So, how about it? There’s a comments section below. Let us know why you’re glowing, shining, going supernova. Are you annoyed by someone else’s obnoxious exuberance? Have you been stoked by someone lately?



8 responses to “Shine Bright!”

  1. I love your blog and your exuberance! Shine away, I think it’s great. I agree: The best way to be all bright and shiny and not annoy people is to try to make them happy, too. So, for example, when I am dying to tell a complete stranger about how awesome my TA is, instead I ask about their child and tell them how awesome he/she is. It works, most of the time.

    I agree, though, that it’s seriously messed up that it’s socially unacceptable to be too happy. I mean, seriously? How can you be too happy?

  2. I love other people’s exuberance. I do sometimes feel bad when I’m in the presence of someone who’s stoked, but it’s generally because I don’t know how to express my own stokitude and observing someone else’s reminds me of this fact. I still like to see theirs, though. It’s educational and fun.

    It’s funny, but it seems like you’re focusing on the same thing I’m focusing on this month, except you’re trying to re-learn how to express your exuberance and I’m trying to learn it for the first time (and learn how not to feel absolutely awkward when I do express it). Or I bet I knew how to do it as a kid, so perhaps mine’s re-learning, too.

    “Stoke is an abundant force. It’s like love in that you can always make more. Endless supply meets infinite demand. This is a sustainable ideology.”

    I love the idea that exuberance works if you help others feel exuberant about themselves, too. I would also suggest that you can’t encourage exuberance in others if you don’t have exuberance for yourself, too.

    Question is, does this work in New England, too (when hockey’s not involved)?

  3. Nice post, Tucker!

    This makes me think of how, in South America, it’s apparently socially acceptable to make out with your lover in public. In Australia, that kind of public display of affection is usually scoffed at. People roll their eyes and mutter “Get a room.” It makes the general public very uncomfortable when two people are into each other. But what is wrong with passion and love? Why are we trained to feel embarrassed when we see it? And why are we trained to feel embarrassed when we shine brightly? In Australia, it’s very socially acceptable to shine, succeed, or appear to look like you’re trying too hard to accomplish something big.

    • Hey Torre, I know this is an old comment, but did you mean socially unacceptable? I’m asking because I just referenced this article in a new one about Tall Poppies, and I realized that you might be in disagreement, which would be awesome 🙂