Allcom ~ MadTown,
Being a Ranger has made me a better friend and being a friend has made me a better Ranger.
(That sound you heard just now was Longshot deleting this email, but please bear with me)
FLAME and active listening skills, along with all the other things we learn and live on the playa, has helped me be a better friend to those people in my life who need a little extra patience, understanding and sometimes tough love.
Obligatory Anecdote: One of the bands I’m in has, for years, been the arch enemy of “R____ B___” at a particular event we both perform at. This person has a gruff asshole persona on stage and doesn’t seem to realize they’re not always on stage. They would constantly blow up our sets, interfere, or just take forever to tear down and cut into our time. Very competitive and unprofessional. So we made a joke of it and suffered – until I applied a little Ranger Fu. I found a local bottled beverage that pretty much had their name on it, walked up, handed it to them, and just started talking to them like an equal – asking open-ended questions, de-escalating, making jokes and laughing at theirs, etc. Maybe not surprisingly, we had a lot in common. At the end of the conversation, I departed like we were old friends and sure enough, we saw a whole different side of this person from then on. Might say I made a friend of an enemy.
Not something I ever would have done before I started Rangering. I would have come up with a creative and vicious revenge strategy, thus perpetuating the animosity. More likely would have commiserated, complained, and put up with it.
We are taught to put down our preconceived ideas as we enter into a situation that needs Rangering. I try to show my Alphas that it is important to create some rapport. The root of these actions is respect. Sure, I may not like what someone is doing and need to educate them, but if I come from a place of respect, it usually works out better. How would I treat this person if they were a friend? Who knows, they might be one in another situation. I have made a lot of friends whilst Rangering. And I have rangered (and sometimes Rangered) a lot of friends since I started burning.