Based on responses from our Wellness Wednesday readers, it appears that our last three messages on Tornadoes of Negativity hit a familiar cord. One reader shared the following:

“This year I have not eaten lunch with teachers that I have eaten lunch with for the past six years due to all of the tornado warnings. So much negativity that this year I am eating with positive and fun people instead and it makes a big difference in how the rest of my day goes.”

A Tornado of a different sort showed up at my 6th grade grandson’s baseball game Friday night. After two players from the opposing team committed errors in the first inning, their coach stormed out of the dugout and screamed, “Everyone get in here,” as he headed towards the pitching mound. “Wake up. The game has already started and you guys are pathetic.” As the kids hung their heads, his diatribe continued for the next thirty seconds.

What is it that makes us think that humiliating kids
will help them perform at a higher level?

The boys played the rest of the game with a need to guard themselves. They appeared to be stiff and uncertain. Rather than playing, they seemed to be focusing on self-protection and a need to armor up.

In her book Dare to Lead, Brene’ Brown writes: “You can’t fully grow and contribute behind armor. It takes a massive amount of energy just to carry around—sometimes it takes all of our energy.”

It was sad to see 6th grade boys playing baseball being clad in armor.

After I shared the story about this 6th grade baseball coach at a social gathering the next night, a man responded, “That’s the way I treat my employees.” Unfortunately, his employees are probably covered in armor as well.

What is it that makes us think that humiliating adults
will help them perform at a higher level?


1. What experiences have you had that have resulted in armoring yourself?
2. What have you said or done that has caused others to armor themselves?

Brene’ Brown added: “We should never underestimate the benefit to a child of having a place to belong—even one—where they can take off their armor. It can and often does change the directory of their life.”

From our Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…with whom I enjoy eating lunch.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training