Is it really the most wonderful time of the year? It sure sounds and looks cheerful out there, with festive lights and decorations, upbeat music and a plate of cookies around every corner. But have you noticed that people get pretty nasty this time of year? (I mean nastier than usual. There are some people who are just negative no matter what the season.)
I took an informal survey of my friends, and we all seem to agree that there’s a lot of aggression and hostility going around right now. I am normally a happy and positive person, and I believe most people try to be respectful and friendly in daily life. When I encounter someone who’s intent on being nasty, I assume first that it’s not about me. Maybe they had a fight with their spouse that day, had a bad day at work or were cut off in traffic. Or maybe they’re stressing about the economy, as most of us are. Or perhaps they’re just an overall unhappy or judgmental person. Either way, these are their problems, not mine, so I don’t internalize them.
One real victory that I have had lately is learning that “killing them with kindness” actually works! The principle is that YOU get to pick your mood, and other people get to pick theirs. It’s hard at first, but I have tested it many times over the past several weeks. I DECIDE that I will be kind, loving and positive, and I hold that intent all day. When someone glares at me, I smile back. When they snap at me, I reply calmly and happily. When they look distressed, I offer to let them get in front of me in line or take the item that we both reached for. And when they write nasty, judgmental comments on social media sites under anonymous names, I send them love and light and peace with all my power!
I understand now more than ever that we all have different life experiences, and that creates different perspectives. That’s the beauty of life. By my wearing this understanding on my sleeve, in the way of a calm demeanor, a smiling face and an encouraging word, I have actually seen people’s moods change before my eyes! I”m not saying to be a doormat. You still have to protect yourself and be smart. And this doesn’t change your life overnight. But, I can tell you that it actually helps! It’s hard for someone to be mean to you when you’re smiling and nodding and when they can clearly see that you understand their perspective and are offering yours with love and respect.
It is a powerful feeling to know that you can affect a negative situation, even if in a small way. Think of the ripple effect of a small kindness, and pay it forward. I now know that when someone says or does something nasty to or about me (or my product), it reflects badly on them, not on me. I am sending out love, kindness and positivity to everyone around me – ESPECIALLY the downers, since they need it most!
Thanks for reading! I hope you take away something positive and that you will do your own experiment. Remember, what you send out is what you get back (OR You reap what you sow OR The golden rule OR I’m rubber, you’re glue – however you like to hear it), so send out the good stuff and enjoy getting it back!