Guest blogger Melanie put Dale Carnegie’s principle into action for her family’s sake.

Guest Blogger Wednesday!
My guest writer is a classmate I have known since the 5th grade. From those youthful days all the way through high school I remember her as someone who excelled at everything she tried. She was smart and pretty like many of my classmates—but she also had good moral character, was approachable and was genuinely a nice person. Through a mutual friend we reconnected on Facebook all these years later and it absolutely makes me smile to see the success she has become. You can imagine my giddy excitement when she volunteered to submit a story. Thank you Melanie—I am over the moon!   – The Smiling Daffodil

A mother’s test of Dale Carnegie’s principles
By Melanie

OK, I have my own story to tell, one that I will probably remember for awhile to come. It involves my husband and my baby boy Anderson, who is 7 months old.

Every night, Robert and I have a ritual where one of us puts Anderson to bed in his crib downstairs. It’s usually me, but on this night, about a week ago, Robert said he would put him to bed. We said our goodnights, and I started cleaning up the kitchen while Robert carried Anderson down the stairs.

All of a sudden, I hear this horrible fall, a giant thud, and an expletive that shouldn’t be mentioned on a blog known as the Smiling Daffodil. I threw down the pot I was washing, and turned the corner expecting to see the worst. Judging from the anger in his voice, I knew it had to be awful and horrible. Had Robert dropped Anderson? Was my husband’s ankle bone going to be sticking out of his leg after he had broken it falling down the stairs? Were both of them going to be in a jumbled, injured pile at the bottom of the stairs?

By the time I made it to the stairs, I could hear Robert getting very, very upset, but not saying anything. I rounded the corner and saw a big hole in the wall at the point where the stairs make a 180 degree turn. He had missed the bottom step, and since he was holding the baby, he couldn’t break his fall, so his elbow went through the wall. Robert had continued on to the nursery, put Anderson in his crib, and closed the door.

He came back out to the stairs, looked up at the hole in the wall, and started to get very, VERY angry. “How could I be so dumb and trip on the stairs?” “This is going to cost so much money to repair!” “I’m going to have to stay home from work so I can wait on a guy to come out and fix this and I’m so busy this week!”

I was as cool as a cucumber and asked if the baby was okay. He said yes. I asked if he was okay, and he said yes. Just a minor scrape on his elbow and knee. And I went back upstairs and finished washing the dishes. He couldn’t understand how I was so calm about it.

When I saw your post inviting people to guest write about one of the principles, the one that jumped out at me was to not fuss about trifles. I’m a big “in the grand scheme of things” type of person, while my husband is not. My main concern was if my loved ones were okay. There were bigger things out there that I could have been angry about, and this was not one of them.

After Robert calmed down, he apologized for overreacting, and made a bet with me that it was going to be 500 dollars to fix the wall. It was a big hole, they would have to put in dry wall, sand it down, and repaint it. Fine, whatever. Yes, we have the money, and yes, that 500 dollars could be better spent, but, again, it could have been a lot worse, and if that’s the damage, then I’ll take it.

I think this is a great story to remember when something “bad” happens to you. There was no benefit to Robert’s blood pressure rising and getting so upset over something that was so minor in the grand scheme of things. I think this is a personality difference between him and me, and this one incident probably won’t change him completely, but hopefully it will help the next time. Remember the big picture, and refuse to let a situation like this get the best of you.

By the way, the wall cost 35 dollars to fix. :)


Thank you Melanie for sharing your story! It’s so vivid—I can picture the whole scenario and I can see myself reacting the same way Robert did (but I probably wouldn’t have been as big a person as he was by apologizing for overreacting). I admire your ability to look at the big picture—your loved ones were safe and there was no use making your husband feel any worse than he did.

This was a great example of Carnegie’s principle “Don’t fuss about trifles” from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.  - The Smiling Daffodil

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