Thursday, August 12, 2010

Finding Your Poker Face

By Keith N Fisher

Do you remember the episode of MASH when Winchester joined the poker game and won every hand and took all the money? It drove the other players crazy because of his skill in convincing them he had a better hand no matter what. Then someone figured out that Winchester whistled a classical tune, every time he bluffed. It was a nervous habit Winchester didn’t know he had, and the other players used it to defeat him.

In the world of draw poker, a card player quickly learns a valuable lesson about facial expressions and nervous ticks. Most learn to use the same facial expression no matter what cards they hold. It’s called keeping a good poker face.

The really great players learn to use different expressions to lead the other players into false belief in a facial tick that doesn’t exist.

I learned a valuable lesson about myself this week I’d like to share with my blog readers. Long ago, I discovered I feel better about myself if I can help others feel good about themselves, so I try to speak kind, building, words to my fellow beings. Some times it lifts my mood just to see the confused look on strangers faces.

I can imagine what goes through their head. Why is this person talking to me? Is he going to steal my wallet? He is going to beat me up? Why is this person talking to me? It’s truly joyful when I can succeed in getting them to say something nice in return.

Even with all the good feelings I get from the application of my campaign, I have truly bad days. There are times when life seems to cave in on me like the crumbling walls of a neglected adobe structure, left in the elements for hundreds of years.

We are entitled, aren’t we? To feel down occasionally is normal, isn’t it?” At times like those, how many of us realize our poker face needs improving? I found out the hard way that while internalizing my agony, I tend to alienate others. A co-worker came up to me and asked if I was okay. I thought the question was a bit odd. How did he know I was having a lousy time of it?

It seems another co-worker had said something to me and I was short with him. Truthfully, I don’t remember even being greeted, but my bad mood and personal issues had taken control. I can just imagine how my face looked.

I submit, and this is the lesson I learned, We need to develop a poker face in dealing with others. We are all going to have bad days now and then, but unless we’re having a crisis, perhaps we can show a face that is pleasing. Unless they are in our head, people we meet don’t know there is something bugging us.

I want my poker face to be something that supports and builds others. Then I can turn my day around through the joy of making them feel good about their lives.

I had a nice talk with my co-worker and I thanked him for being my friend. Life is grand, but I need to learn to let it be.

1 comment:

Nichole Giles said...

You're right. Making someone else smile always helps improve my mood or my day. And you are a great example of this lesson. You always have been.

But you are entitled to have hard days. They're part of life. And when your burden becomes too heavy, it's okay to ask for the assistance of others in carrying it. That's a lesson need to learn one of these days myself. =)

I hope things start looking up for you soon, and I'm so, so glad to have you as a friend.