I guess to some extent, we all do it. Name dropping that is. In high school, upon arriving to a house party, you told the kid at the door how you're with ‘so-and-so' just to get into the party of the year. In your twenties, you arrive to a crowded club and upon telling the bouncer how you know ‘so-and-so', you pass the glorified velvet rope looking back at all the ‘suckers' still in line. We all have a basic human need to feel significant and accepted.
Have you ever pulled the ‘so-and-so card' for personal gain? Have you ever felt like a so-and-so? How we play those hands in life says a lot about one's integrity.
Well, after many,(add a few more many's) years of being the awkward artistic kid in school, sucking at team sports, not knowing how to talk to chicks until college…somehow, I am starting to feel that some people are using me as a “so-and-so” and it's weird. Not weird because I don't think I work hard enough to deserve it, after all, I've been dreaming of and working towards being an accomplished artist since I was in grammar school. It's just strange seeing how differently some people can act towards you because you are “someone” to them, whatever the hell that means.
Having VIP friends can help. Trust me, I get it. I admittedly enjoy my fair share of backstage passes, free goodies and travel opportunities. It doesn't suck and sure, it makes me feel ‘cool' at times, making up for all those ‘uncool' years I've talked about in therapy in some Freudian way. But believe me, I am more thankful than you can imagine for every supporter, opportunity and success I achieve. So, being someone who is fully cognizant of life on both sides of the fence, I've made some observations and created some so-and-so guidelines.
1. If you're are a so-and-so, go directly to Section 1.
2. If you you're pulling the ‘ so-and-so card' to achieve grooviness, go directly to Section 2.
3. If you do not relate to this whatsoever, you can stop reading now and turn Ellen back on the TV.
Section 1: Being a ‘Name-Dropped So-and-So'
Congrats, you've achieved some level of success,popularity or rewards that certain people are fascinated with. You will notice a certain type of friend, acquaintance or stranger use you name from time to time to benefit themselves or others. It's ok, this could be really good, so don't get protected or weirded out just yet. Read on.
A. Ask yourself, what's their desired outcome? Do they wish to help, harm or just flat out use you in a selfish, one-sided way?
B. Are they speaking of you just to be a gossiper, supporter or a step-stool?
C. Did the person who used your name for personal gain ask you first? Or did they mention you in such a way that is so kind and loving that there is no question as to their intentions?
Section 2: Being a Name-Dropper
Ok, so you acknowledge it, you've dropped a name of a friend, acquaintance or stranger whom you wish you knew. It happens from time to time. We've all done it, don't put up your defensive wall of excuses. It might be ok… Let's figure out what you're up to and take it from there.
A. What's your desired outcome? Do you wish to help, harm or use this person?
B. Are you speaking of them as a gossiper, proud supporter or using their name as a ladder?
C. Have you asked so-and-so to use their name as a reference or are you offering up something to make your name drop be warmly appreciated?
It's emotionally challenging to deal with people who I refer to as, Aggressive Nonreciprocating Opportunists or “A.N.O's”. You can never tell what they're up to or how they feel about you because they are usually living in a scarcity survival mindset. Thus, they come off as phony and selfish and happen to be one category of humans which are particularly hard to understand and difficult to be around.
Think of A.N.O.'s as blood sucking leeches. They'll try to drain every bit of opportunity from you, only to fall off into the lake, leaving you with a soar spot and wondering WTF just happened.
Let me ask you, isn't it so much nicer to try to contribute more than receive with friends or industry folks? It's not always possible, but if our intentions are to see what we can offer primarily, then we establish that we have the right message in our hearts.
Take for example some of the rockstars I'm buddies with who generously and selflessly offer us passes for shows or share my art with their circles of friends just to be nice. I am so grateful for the fun memories,friendships and inspiration that they offer. In return, I make a sincere effort to try and offer them paid gig opportunities as I hear about them, Fine Art Prints or get them hooked up with businesses or products I'm in with. Often I'll donate Art to charities they're involved with or share a book that's been particularly life changing. I believe in my friends' talents and I enjoy telling the world about their creativity.
Coat Tail Riders
Then there's the ‘Coat Tail Riders'. They can often be spotted easily in their natural habitat of web blogs, facebook or online press articles. Frequently they'll be the first to comment on a web media piece about me including such phrases in their posts as “Do you want to see more cool Surf Art? Click here to go to my website”. Or it'll be disguised with a compliment first, such as, “Great article Jay..You should really check out my new (Insert promotional blurb) on my website”.
Sure, to some extent seeking out opportunities is an awesome way to promote business and I do it all the time, but there's an elegant way to do it and a scummy way to do it. When given the choice, be classy. By the way, we always have a choice.
When I see that a friend or someone I think highly of has achieved something wonderful, I think it's better to be genuinely happy for others as your first reaction, congratulate them on their accolades and mean it. Share their stories or creative genius with your friends. Be sincere, because there's plenty to go around 🙂
Be Thankful and Act with Integrity
I adore when people mention my name and share my artwork with a sense of love, support and friendship. I have so many incredible friends, fans and family whom have helped me through the good times and challenging years. These people add to my sense of strength and hope and I couldn't imagine doing what I am doing without them.
I am fortunate enough to have some pretty well known and talented friends. And when I mention them in interviews or blogs, I do so out of a genuine respect and love for them, just as they do the same for me. It's a symbiotic and spiritually healthy way of networking and sharing successes and cross promotion.
If you have a friend, relative or talented person whom you believe in, drop their name in conversation. By doing so with the right intentions, you can encourage others to get tuned into someone you respect. By the law of attraction, others will do the same for you and you will create a paradigm which engulfs you in a feeling of abundance.
If you are already feeling like a so-and-so in your career or social circles, be appreciative for those who really believe in you and look up to you. Realize there's not only room for others to join you but seek out ways to help good people to find their own greatness. Allow your voice to be heard and be aware of your self-talk. Choose words and messages to share that will nurture a feeling in others which they will want to share. The momentum is divine.
We all have something to offer. For some, it's contacts or resouces. For some it's time. For some it's cool gadgets or products. And still for others it's inspiration and wisdom. In these times, it's up to us to determine what we have to offer to contribute to society, the environment and those whom we hold in a high regard. I encourage you to find your “Currency of Creativity”. This is one currency that never depreciates in value and it's accepted everywhere.
I challenge you all this week to think of ways to be ‘good so-and-so name droppers‘. Stop yourself from being an Aggressive Nonreciprocating Opportunists or Coat-Tail-Riders. Talk to your friends about some inspiring artist, author or musician you love with pure intentions By sharing the passion of others you will help develop your ability to ‘Take action with compassion!”