Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Putting a Positive Spin on Life: What to Say When Shit Happens

Putting a Positive Spin on Life: What to Say When Shit Happens

We all experience times when we are less than proud of the situation we are in. If you are a business leader who has a few things to learn about the fine art of discretion, it can be especially embarrassing. How do you come back from public embarrassment? What can you tell people who push for answers you don’t feel like speaking about? Quite often making no comment is simply not an option. Public relations and communications professionals are known for their ability to soften the language around less than optimal circumstances. This is what is known as spin. I thought it might be a fun exercise to try to reposition a few of these circumstances. Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a CEO to use them. These terms can be helpful to anyone with a pulse. Let me know what you think!

Unemployed: Most people have to endure the pain of losing their job sooner or later. Right or wrong, many people equate their value with what they do for a living, and who wants to have to explain the circumstances around a dismissal? It’s nobody’s business, but don’t worry. You are not actually unemployed. You are “between opportunities”. Isn’t that nicer?

Lost driver’s license due to DUI conviction: This may not happen to everyone, but people get charged with impaired driving all the time. Having said that, who wants to admit it to their employer and colleagues? If you end up having to take your bicycle to work, simply explain that you are concerned about the environment and are “reducing your carbon footprint”. What’s wrong with that?

Still single or divorced: I don’t know why, but being unmarried (whether single or divorced) seems to spark a certain amount of judgement from married people. It’s as though being married is the key to happiness. Trust me when I tell you it isn’t. From here on in, should someone ask about your marital status tell them you are “living on your own terms”. Anyone who is married will suddenly wish they weren’t.

Obsessive behaviour: Is your antique Barbie collection getting out of control? Do you feel compelled to wipe everything down before you touch it? Don’t worry. You are simply “passionate”. You love your collection, and you can never be too clean, can you? Besides, your mental health is nobody’s business.

Having an extramarital affair: Just when you thought you could enjoy a little side fling, people start asking questions about your activities. Perhaps this is a good time to tell people you are “expanding your social interests”. What’s wrong with making more friends? Don’t hit me. I’m just having fun with words, here.

Drunk and sloppy: Uh oh. Too much wine at the party has you “feeling a little out of sorts”. Call a cab, if you don’t want to be forced into reducing your carbon footprint.

Calls from bill collectors: So here you are. After being between opportunities for a little too long, the bills got harder to pay and just when you were sitting down with a friend the phone rang from a bill collector. How humiliating. Why do people always feel compelled to ask you who just called? Don’t worry. It was only someone “offering financial advice”. Good one, eh?

Bankruptcy: Sometimes when it rains it pours. Your decision to expand your social interests coupled with the time you spent between opportunities has forced you to live life on your own terms and go bankrupt. That sucks, but don’t worry. The only reason you don’t have a car or a nice house full of art and furniture anymore is because you have decided to reduce your carbon footprint and “embrace minimalism”. Who needs all that crap, anyway?

So there you have it. Now you’ve got a new way to look at your circumstances and a more palatable explanation, in case one is required. Let’s have some fun coming up with embarrassing circumstances and trying to create a positive spin. Write your suggestions in the comments section. Life is best taken with large doses of laughter!


Few public relations & communications specialists have as diverse a background as Renée Cormier. Add published author, employee engagement specialist, sales and marketing strategist, entrepreneur and educator to her list of accomplishments. In her career Renée has held leadership roles in sales and marketing, developed and implemented national marketing strategies and was responsible for teams as large as 28 strong. She brings a wide range of experience and talent to her work.

Renée really shines in communications. She is known for developing and implementing comprehensive communications strategies and generating results through flawless implementation. With such strong business acumen, passion for her work and a natural talent for business strategy, Renée is definitely considered an important resource for her clients. Is your business in transition? Do you need help with your communications or public relations efforts? Contact Renée through her website.

Follow me on Twitter @reneecormierpr.

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Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #23

#28
And you are better for it, I am sure. Society's failing is that we are taught to think of marriage as a human need. That, of course, is a ludicrous notion. Lifelong partnership is often nicer in books and movies.

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

"Still single or divorced: I don’t know why, but being unmarried (whether single or divorced) seems to spark a certain amount of judgement from married people. It’s as though being married is the key to happiness. Trust me when I tell you it isn’t. From here on in, should someone ask about your marital status tell them you are “living on your own terms”. Anyone who is married will suddenly wish they weren’t." I certainly wish I had thought of this during my slavery years. Being a single woman with children almost seemed criminal. Even when I could say I was widowed, it appeared to me that I had failed because I didn't run out and get myself a "breadwinner." I was the "breadwinner."

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #21

#25
Thanks Renee, I needed that!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #20

#23
I just realized your predicament requires a more complete strategy. Step one is to deny. Step two is to fill the internet with fake news, which has quotes from you saying positive and gushy things about that politician. Obscuring the truth with alternate facts is quite effective. Step three, requires you to have your picture photo shopped next to him on a golf course or a yacht, or somewhere exciting. Bonus points if you can actually get a picture taken embracing him like he's your good buddy. As long as there is doubt, you'll be safe. LOL

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #19

#23
The same way he does. Deny, deny, deny!

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #18

Renee, So I've got this little problem. I think the feds may be on to me. It seems I've made some derogatory comments about a politician. How do I get out of this one?

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #17

#17
Yes, I've been crying all night, and now I've got to endure more! Thanks for the support, Phil.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #16

#16
Sure thing. Her boomerang won't reach this far!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #15

#15
Yes, that would do it, Brian. :)

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #14

#14
Thanks, Jim. Much appreciated!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #13

#13
Thank you, Charlene! Thanks for the share, as well.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #12

Don't let them get you down by laughing at this, Renee. You and I know this is dead serious. How come you haven't paid your bills in months? Hey, if it's good enough for Chrysler and General Motors, it's good enough for me. Great post! Cheers!

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

4 years ago #11

I really enjoyed reading this Renée. Didn't realise my wife was actually being 'passionate' about all those 'opportunities' to 'guide'' me towards ''enlightenment' and 'perfection'. I will now view all those stacked up chores in a different light before 'expanding my horizons' by thinking of alternative ways to tackle them, rather than rushing straight in. I'll mention your name as my pontification advisor if that's OK. 👍

Charlene Norman

Charlene Norman

4 years ago #10

Bloody brilliant! Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #9

#11
thank you, and thanks also for sharing.

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador
Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #7

Thanks for sharing, Milos!

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #6

#6
Haha! Pefect answer!

Lyon Brave L

Lyon Brave

4 years ago #5

Nice title. Positive spin is a good thing! People are paid to do it for politicians and celebrates. He didn't drop the baby. He was giving it flying lessons lol

John Prpich

John Prpich

4 years ago #4

Ok, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess this is satire? Anyway someone told me a story of a young man who came home late after being out this his friends all night and didn't call home. He didn't have his keys and knocked on the door of his apartment. His wife opened the door and he then proceeded to say, Honey, don't pay the ransom, I got loose.

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #3

Ren\u00e9e \ud83d\udc1d Cormier Very entertaining Renee. Here's another: Referring to someone who is dressed badly - he/she is sartorially challenged.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #2

Two kinds of people in the world, those experiencing and those getting ready to experience pain. Be it physical or emotional. You highlight several of these pains once they move external of your control, they are now public here are my suggestions of snappy comes backs. DUI with a look of disgust: You're right but i was really lucky, i had just dropped your spouse off and i was able warn them so they didn't go the same way. Drunk and sloppy: 'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly': Winston Churchill to Lady Astor Unemployed: Yes it was the strangest thing, i made a deal with the company you work for and they broke the contract as they were filing for bankruptcy. Debt collector: Who was that? (Without making eye contact) A friend must have used my name as a personal reference on a credit card and now they are hounding me.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #1

a few gems :-)