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Why do people think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?

This was a question asked some weeks ago at table topics at the weekly Toastmasters meeting here in Palma de Mallorca. My mother told me many years ago when I still was a teenager not to think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. In my opinion it is all about "comparing". When I start comparing my own situation with what I see from friends and neighbours it might be that only seeing the surface it seems that their circumstances are nicer than mine. Comparing is the start of unhappiness.

The easiest way to avoid unhappiness is by communicating. Communicate with your partner, spouse, children, boss, and friends. Although sometimes this may not be possible always the best thing is to do is talk about what makes you unhappy.

I have a friend who is married and has two lovely teenager children. Both are healthy and doing well at school. But she is suffering. She suffers because she is the one who invites nearly every Sunday her sister with her family and her mother for lunch. She complains that she often looks after the younger children of her sister while her sister has to work e. g. during holiday time. She does not agree with one of her friends with whom she does a sewing course because this lady dictates the dates and hours.  What she does not do is tell all these people that she does not agree. Her suffering turns into illness.

By watching her behavior I learn. I learn that it is not good to accept things I do not agree to. I learn that there are ways to talk to people in a non aggressive way and tell them where my border is. I learn to say NO and STOP in a nice and friendly way. This is part of my Toastmasters journey. It does not come in a day or two or by attending a meeting sometimes. It comes with time and dedication to the Toastmasters program. I attend the meetings regularly and I always take a role. The most challenging part of the program for me is the evaluation part; no matter if it is evaluating a speech or the whole evening. I don’t want to be a "know all". The best thing of Toastmasters is that everything I learn week after week I can immediately put into practice.
I love Toastmasters!
Angeline van der Heijden  CC/ALB

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