Hopefully, you know of the actress, advocate, celebrity, and singer Selena Gomez. For those who are not Selena Gomez fans, find a millennial - they will help get you on board. There is a terrific song on Selena’s Revival album called “Kill ‘Em with Kindness”. It’s a set of poignant lyrics tied to a catchy beat. I recommend listening to it and adding it to your exercise playlist.
This simple song starts with a firm declaration:
“The world can be a nasty place
You know it, I know it, yeah
See, we don't have to fall from grace
Put down the weapons you fight with
And kill 'em with kindness…”
So far, so good? Although, if you’re in a fight, please don’t surrender your weapons. I digress.
She continues the song with these impressive statements.
“We're running out of time chasing our lives
Every day a small piece of you dies
There's always somebody you're willing to fight, to be right
Your lies are bullets, your mouth's a gun
No war and anger was ever won
Put out the fire before igniting
Next time you're fighting
Please, kill 'em with kindness”
I was stunned the first time I heard this song. Let's face it, deep-meaning-dance songs are not a genre. If so, I would be a devotee. This section of the song speaks to me the most. In our overly busy lives, it can often feel like a little piece of us dies every day. I mean, we do get older daily, so it’s technically accurate.
The song was written about treating haters with kindness. It was inspired by the hate Selena received on social media during a trip to Mexico. Pictures of Selena on a beach surfaced online and she was body-shaming by media outlets and social media.
Selena Gomez expressed the inspiration behind the song.
"You have to wake up with yourself every morning, and people are going to give you their worst, and it's so easy to be mean. I'm Latin; I can be mean, real fast, if I want. But I don't feel good about myself, and I think people need to hear a message like this. I do know that deep down in my heart that I have to believe that we can love each other and always be kind no matter what it takes in us. I believe that we can do that, no matter what."
We can all agree there needs to be more songs about putting haters and bullies in their place. A long line of amazing artists has rallied against the bullies and haters in music. You can Google them. Make sure you support them.
There is one line in the song that Selena repeats several times that I want to address. It's an important statement for reflection. The lyric is,
“There's always somebody you're willing to fight, to be right.”
That’s powerful. This song is not just about taking the high road when angry. It is also about checking your ego. Ego is “a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” The ego is the “I” or self of any person. The thinking, feeling, and willingness, and distinguishing of a person's self from the selves of others. We all have moments in our careers when our hubris gets out of control. Whose ego hasn’t gotten in the way? It is human nature. Here are some questions to help you reflect on the impact of your ego on others.
- When does your ego go too far?
- When your ego is in the way, how do you regulate it?
- What mechanisms do you have in place to put your ego in check?
- How do your leaders and employees react when your ego makes demands on them?
- How do you apologize to your leaders and employees when you lash them with your ego?
Our ego gets in the way as leaders when we wage war during a simple battle. I suspect it is as Selena said when “…you're willing to fight, to be right.” Is waging wars with others over being right the sword you will fall on? How often do you fight to be right? Do you always have to be right? Is that what’s important? We should not war all the time. If you are, then you’re not listening enough. Conversations are not a competition outside a courtroom. Fighting to be right is just another version of perfectionism.
I recommend Selena Gomez’s advice. Stand up to the bullies and haters, kill them with kindness, and release your ego. When do you “Kill ‘Em with Kindness”? Michele Obama always says, “When they go low, you go high”. In situations where there are egregious bullies and haters, it is excellent advice to go high and kill them with kindness. It is hard to go high when you are being attacked. However, speak up! Label the bully's and hater's behavior publically. Let them know that you see them and the unnecessary and unprofessional behavior they bring to the table. Their words are not tolerated. When picking your battles, you often must let the microaggressions float by you to move forward. It is professional to smile, excuse yourself, and quickly remove yourself from the situation. Don’t continuously put yourself in unhealthy situations. Your mental health and reputation deserve better.
Let’s collaborate to define your path forward. If you are still struggling or need additional guidance, contact us at Pensivetastic. We’ll help you get there.