The Art of the Belly Rub

Wednesday 26 February 2014 by

I thought I’d try a slightly more philosophical approach on House of Blog this morning.

Cat, Sophie, Belly rub, Pet

Meet Sophie, cat in residence. She’s a bit of a madam, and frankly too needy sometimes, but she has taught me a few things in life (namely: sleeping 23 hours a day is totally okay). But she has also perfected the art of the belly rub request. She flops, desperately, in front of the nearest person and waits for the attention that is sure to come.

We all need a good belly rub every now and then.

Not literally, unless that’s your thing. But metaphorically speaking. We need to flop in front of the nearest person and gain attention and affection. That’s why, as social animals, we create friendship groups and we bond endlessly over cups of tea, cocktails, films, books and music. We talk all the time, we bounce off each other and we launch ourselves – unwittingly or otherwise – in to social media sites so that we can be miles away and yet still get human interaction.

It all just amounts to a good old belly rub at the end of the day.

Attention-seeking sounds so negative. But when you’ve had a bad day (or a good one), you instantly need to share it. When you need reassurance, you seek out others.

So where am I going with this? Not a preachy essay on the sociological antics of the human race – honest. I am giving you five sure-fire tips to getting a bona fide belly rub (metaphorically speaking still) and stay positive…

1.       Text

I bet you can count at least three people you could text right now and get a response before you’ve even finished reading this sentence. Text them. Say hi. Tell them about your day or ask them what they’ve done (the belly rub goes two ways).

2.      Go for that drink

How often do you get invited to something and turn it down in favour for Strictly Come Dancing? This time: don’t. You’ll be surprised how often a casual drink with acquaintances turns in to an evening with friends, and is often repeated.

3.      Smile

Okay, so some people might think you’re a weirdo. But when you catch someone’s eye, just smile. It does no harm. You’d be amazed at what a simple smile can do to brighten their day – and if they smile back, brighten yours too.

4.      Self-belly-rub

Minds out of the gutter please. What I mean is: compliment yourself. Sometimes other people simply won’t do it for you. It’s not because you’re not worth the compliment, it’s just that they’re too busy to notice you need to hear it. There are countless self-help mantras that tell you to stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself something good. I’m not telling you to stand in front of a mirror, but hey, just so you know: you did pretty good today. It’s about time you reminded yourself of that.

5.      Say yes

As a bit of a follow-on from point two – stop saying no. I managed to throw myself out of a plane and bungee just because I decided to say yes. I hand-raised lion cubs because I chose to say yes. The possibilities are endless. Say yes. It might surprise you. And, as Sophie can testify, the best kind of belly rub is a surprise one.

What do you do to stay positive?

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