playful mismatched socks What do you do when you’re a playful person working in a serious environment?

I got the chance to reconnect with a dear friend over the weekend. She asked me to keep my eyes open for any place that sells colorful, crazy, patterned and decorated socks. Not a strange request since I am a big fan of wild socks – the louder the better. I had to ask why she’s on this particular quest and was delighted to learn the reason.

She’s working at a very high end (expensive) assisted care facility as both a nurse and manager. As a manager, she has to adhere to the professional dress code; subdued colors, tailored pants suits, crisp plain colored blouses (think Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe.) Luckily, the dress code doesn’t mention socks. She gets to display her personality, show a sense of humor, and add a touch of cheer and whimsy with her socks.

When standing, or tucked behind her desk, she is the model of corporate professionalism. Out and about in the facility interacting with the patients and their relatives they get a little glimpse of the playful person lurking just under her pants cuffs. It makes them smile or laugh and provides a light-hearted moment of connection. Always a good thing when caring for the elderly and infirm.

More importantly, it makes her happy. That slightly rebellious act of self-expression allows her a little window to express herself while toeing the corporate line.

I was so delighted to learn this. I’ve been advising people who are seeking to be happier and more playful in life to do this very thing – wear crazy socks or mismatched crazy socks, or for the more timid, socks of slightly different colors (baby steps).

I recommend you try it. Even if no one can see your socks, you’ll know. It may feel a little weird, little peculiar and it will change your energy. People will react to you differently without realizing it.  You could be pleasantly surprised the difference such a simple change can make.


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