If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

I don’t know why, but for as long as I can remember, I do not like to be tapped, hit, nudged, smacked, bumped, thumped, slapped, smacked, jarred, or patted. I am not sure that anyone likes it, but I seriously cannot stand it. When someone does this to me, I feel like my brain is vibrating. I feel like my whole body is unsettled. I prefer to be touched softly and rubbed. When I am hugged by a “Patter” it takes everything in me to endure the 3 seconds that they are smacking my back with their full affection.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. We went to Nashville to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The Opry was really great, filled with music and history that we could taste. As we sat down in our seats, I noticed that the seats were not individual seats or chairs, but were rows of very long pews. They looked like the pews that are in some churches. With this kind of seating arrangement, we were arm in arm with the people sitting on either side of us. That in itself was not a problem.

Once the music started, and people began clapping, tapping their knees, beating their legs, and stomping their feet…this is where the problem began. With every happy note, my brain felt like it was going to fall out. I tried to adjust the way I was sitting. I tried closing my eyes. I tried humming along. I tried distracting myself. None of these tactics kept the whole pew from thumping and bumping. Finally I began tapping my thumbs together ever so softly. This worked! As long as I was tapping along with everyone else, their tapping did not hurt my brain! You know how it is, someone can scratch you and it hurts, but you can scratch yourself and it doesn’t…same concept here.

This got me thinking to a time in college when I was roommates with one of my sisters. A few friends and I were out in the living room/kitchen area of our apartment. We were being a little loud (she may remember it differently) and my sister was trying to sleep. At some point, probably after she had tried everything to block out our noise and fall asleep, she joined us. She entered the room saying, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” She was tired of fighting it, so she came out and joined in the fun. This is the same thing I did at the Grand Ole Opry!

I know you have been in a similar situation, we all have. Sometimes we are in a situation that is bugging us, but there is no way to control it. Maybe we can leave the area, but that was not an option in the two situations above. Sometimes joining in is an option so that we do not go crazy!

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s realize when we are in a situation that we do not like and that we cannot change. Let’s try to “join ’em” instead of trying to “Beat ’em”. Let’s recognize when we are fighting an uphill battle and choose to flow downstream instead of trying to row upstream!

Because Together is Better,


  1. Oh my gosh. This was hilarious! I know the sensation of feeling like my brain is going to “fall out.” Thank you for this gentle reminder to not be so up tight, which I tend to do at times. 🙂

    • Carrie, thank you for the laugh as well…I’m glad you can related to that feeling, not many feel like their brain is going to fall out. I guess I am very sensitive. Thank you for your wise words! -Deanna

  2. Cute post! When in Rome…. 😉

  3. Reminds me of that great expression “What we resist persists.” Thanks for posting.

  4. Yes, things can get tricky for those of us who are sensitives. I love how joining helped ease this, and put you into the flow!

  5. I love the idea of going beyond what we don’t like about something and joining in with the flow. If it is something that truly doesn’t feel aligned with me in that moment, i can get up and leave. Often though, it is my own restriction that i get to leave behind.

    • Laurie, I love how you state that it is your own restrictions that you get to leave behind. Great insight…thank you for allowing me to chew on that! -Deanna

  6. That is an amazing story. Yes, it is much wiser to go with the flow instead of putting up resistance. But honestly sometimes it is hard to get over myself. Luckily I am getting better and quicker at it.

  7. Sooooo…. When I got up and danced on the Pew that probably didn’t help, eh?

  8. I like your practical thinking in this post…many of us can relate to this!

  9. I love the “If you can’t beat them, join them”idea. One cannot simply fight every battle because of pride and insolence

  10. I like the idea of joining them if you can’t beat them. A lot of energy is wasted on things that you don’t need to. Like picking your battles I guess

    • Veronica, you are correct that it is like picking your battles. I love that you being up the point in wasting your energy on things that we do not need to. So many people get frustrated and angry instead of looking for a different solution. -Deanna

  11. Great article! I definitely agree with you here! There has been many times when I have tried fighting off a certain situation, but in the end I joined in and it was great to let go of my negativity or my views and it always turned out for the best!

  12. Marjory Johnson says:

    I love that you found a solution and shared it with us because I will remember this and what I need to do in a similar situation.

    • Yu are so welcome Marjory, it makes me smile to think that you will use this to help yourself in the future. I appreciate you being here. -Deanna

  13. Jim Striegel says:

    What a great issue to address and how to accomplish it!

  14. This has worked for me in a many situations involving my son and hubby! I like alone time and both of them like to be around me. Some times it can be a bit irritating when I really just want to be alone, but a lot of times when I give in and take part of whatever they are doing I end up having a lot of fun!

    • Marielle, sometimes we give up so much of ourselves to try to take a stance. Good that you go with the flow and have fun! -Deanna

  15. Gigi Peterson says:

    I just had to laugh!!! I can see you sitting there in agony!!! Brilliant tapping your thumbs to the beat. How
    interesting that you found that to be a solution!!

    • Gigi, I love that this made you laugh…I would laugh picturing that also. Yes, sometimes we need to think outside the box to go with the flow! -Deanna

  16. Your posts are always so inspiring and thoughtful. I will definitely try to follow your Take Action 🙂

  17. I love that! You’re so right, we can waste so much precious energy fighting against what is when it’s often better to be carried along with the the flow.

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