What is Meddlin’?
I first heard that phrase ‘Now you’re meddlin’ from a friend. It was in the context of getting too close to something he didn’t want to be questioned about, although always said with a smile. It comes to mind often now in situations where talking about “it” might make me change my mind; or where my buttons are being pushed and I don’t like it; or my thinking or beliefs are being brought into question. So why are we talking about this at all? Meddling has a negative connotation, but here the “Now you’re meddlin’” phrase has a wider application.
Is Meddlin’ Ever a Good Thing—Or WHY Meddle?
Now that’s a loaded question! Most of us would like to join in a loud response of NO! Who likes their long-held thoughts poked into and dissected? No one wants to look closely at situations where they might be called on to stretch or grow!
Yet, do we really want to stay stuck when changing could actually broaden our horizons and offer us more life? Better life? An easier way to accomplish something we really desire?
Who gets to meddle?
It used to be that children knew that everyone in their “community” of known people had their good at heart; the neighbor, or the grocer, or the teacher could remind them to behave and they knew they better do it because when they got home their parents would back up the adult who helped keep them on the straight and narrow. Those situations have all but disappeared from our society, but they still hold some truth and value for us today.
Here are some ideas about who has earned the right to meddle:
- A parent or sibling or friend who is respected.
- The boss, whether we like them or not.
- Someone who is known to tell the truth, whether we agree with the way they see it or not.
How to Meddle Successfully
- Care about the person with whom you are meddlin’.
- Know up front that it is not your job—or responsibility—to change anyone’s mind.
- Think of planting seeds. They must be nurtured over time before there is a harvest.
- The meddler can only suggest.
- Each meddled-with must be fully persuaded in their own mind before any good/change will happen.
- Know when to hold, when to fold, and when to walk away.
- The meddler must LISTEN as much as they talk. We were given two ears and only one mouth for a reason!