• Lessons from Life
    Life Lessons

    Are you cutting off your nose to spite your face?

    Words & Pics by Mandy Antzoylatos

    “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face!”

    Oh my gosh! These are words that ring in my ears from my childhood…my Gran said them to me so often!

    And yep, I find myself saying the same to my son 😉.  You know that feeling when suddenly we find ourselves ‘being and sounding like’ our parents?

    My moment was when we were at a Freshly Ground concert at Kirstenbosch Gardens, and they were playing Mr J’s all-time favourite song ‘Doo Be Doo’, but because I had said something he didn’t like, he spent the whole song curled up in a ball at my feet!

    We were literally 3 rows from the front, almost able to touch the gorgeous Zolani Mahola, but he missed out on seeing her sing his favourite song …right there… on the stage… in front of him!

    Ok, luckily, at the end of the concert, Mr.J got to meet and greet the incredible Zolani.

    I didn’t really understand this saying when I was a child, but when it ‘clicked’ and I understood what it meant, it made so much sense…

    These days, if we see someone doing something that makes a situation worse just so they can hold onto their self-righteousness, we might feel frustrated for them, label it as ‘self-sabotage’, or have a good laugh at their expense.  But how often might we be doing it to ourselves? Particularly in our very polarized political climate that we are experiencing right now.

    Yep, it got me pondering… where might I still be doing this in my life? Where might I have blindspots without having my gran to point them out to me?

    How about you?

    Are there areas of your life where you get upset about things and react to them with high emotion at a cost to you, or ‘cutting your nose off to spite your face?’

    So, if you’d like to ponder further with me, here are some thoughts…

    • Where are you insisting on being right at the cost of an important relationship? For example, not apologizing to your significant other, best friend or colleague, or not hugging your angry teenager?
    • Where are you not following up with a potential client because you are too proud?
    • What biases are you holding onto because it’s too uncomfortable to acknowledge you might be biased at times (or racist or sexist, whether unconscious or not)?
    • What situations are you staying in, even though you know it’s not right for you anymore, but you’re being stubborn about ‘showing them’ you can do it! It might be at work, in a relationship, your sports club, studies or even a place of worship?
    • Where might you ‘collude’ with others laughing at sexist or racists jokes in order to ‘fit in’ but actually it feels ‘off’ in your belly, and costs you your integrity?

    These are just some ways in which we might ‘cut off our nose to spite our face’…

    Can you think of any others?

    I’d love to hear from you because I may be doing it too, and I’m always open to feedback on my blindspots.

    I hope you get to uncover some insights, connect more to yourself and to other important and precious people around you.

    Thank you for listening 😊. This is lifelong work xx

    Warm regards

    PS: Stay home if you can, and please stay safe.

    P.P.S:  If you’re keen to work with me here’s some of what’s on offer:

    • Professional online coaching – both individually, or in groups,
    • Inclusion and unconscious bias facilitation and coaching,
    • The Career Crossroads workshop is now offered online, and can be adapted for the workplace, particularly where retrenchments are taking place or are imminent,
    • Lockdown support to individuals, work or sports teams.