The Peanut Incident: Why It’s Better to Ask than to Assume

Most of us have heard the old adage, “If you assume, you make an ASS out of YOU and ME.” It’s a staple in journalism school, but more importantly, the wrong assumption can send your mental state into a downward spiral – sometimes resulting in anger or resentment – or both.

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Mental health speaker and Amazon bestselling author Jeff Yalden says that the ability to walk away from a situation without letting it trigger a negative emotion like anger is key to living your BOOM life.

Recently, Jeff was on a plane from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Kansas City.

He had a Gatorade with him, and when the flight attendant asked him if he wanted anything while in-flight, he thanked her and said he was all set.

But then the warm peanuts came around, Jeff wasn’t offered any.

As he mentioned in episode 61 of The BOOM Podcast, he knows this sounds almost like a non-issue, but it didn’t seem like a non-issue at the time.

“When you have bipolar and anxiety, triggers like this really hit you – and by the way I love those warm peanuts you get on the plane,” he said.

Even though the flight attendant also offered everyone in first class warm towel, including Jeff (which he declined), it felt weird that everybody got the warm peanuts but him.

He decided not to say anything because he didn’t want to seem like a ten-year-old who didn’t get his candy – but somewhere in his emotions was the inkling that he might have done something wrong – as if the peanut exclusion was some sort of punishment.

Jeff is a man who lives with mental illness every day, and he was grateful to keep his emotions in check by repeatedly telling himself to let it go, and this was not a big deal.

But for something that isn’t a big deal, this perceived exclusion happens to many of us, especially on social media.

Let’s say you see a post from a friend who is having a great time at an event with other friends, some of whom you know. The first thought might be that you have been excluded for some reason. You weren’t tagged, and you certainly weren’t out with them. Did you do or say something to hurt this person’s feelings?

“There are little things in everyday life that can affect you, and you start wondering if you did something. My friends, sometimes we just need to let it go,” he said.

To the flight attendant’s credit, maybe she took to heart what Jeff said in his first encounter with her – that he was all set. She offered him a chocolate chip cookie when the flight was about to land, but he politely declined.

“Getting off the plane, she was like, ‘have a great day, sir.’”

Let it go.

“Don’t compare one situation to another situation,” he said. “Don’t compare your life to someone else’s life. I think sometimes when we do that, we raise our anxiety and stress us out more than we need to.

If you haven’t heard from someone for a couple of hours, it’s no big deal.

“We are all busy. We are all trying to work hard – but if you think that maybe you have hurt someone’s feelings – ask them.”

More times than not, you will come to know that it’s not about you.

To listen to this episode of The BOOM Podcast, go HERE.

Find out why Jeff Yalden is North America’s Number One Youth Motivational Speaker. Go HERE.

Check out Jeff’s new nonprofit, THE JEFF YALDEN FOUNDATION.

Jeff’s speaking calendar fills up fast. To book him now for your event, organization or school now, call 800-948-9289.

For a limited time, you can own Jeff’s new book, Your Life Matters, for only $0.99 on KINDLE.

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Author:Roger Yale

Roger Yale is a longtime contributor to McClatchy Newspapers’ The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, focusing on stories about the people who make the Grand Strand awesome, including teen motivational speaker Jeff Yalden. He was voted Story of the Year winner four times by readers of The Sun News’ sister publication, Weekly Surge. Roger is the parent of adult twins. His son is a United States Marine and his daughter is currently involved in marketing for Broadway productions in New York City. He spent many years as a single father, and he believes that the experience was something to relish – and the bond he forged with his twins remains strong. Roger is also a working musician. For more about Roger, visit his blog:

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