But more likely, a hospital? Or a Department of Revenue office? (Where you’ve just been lucky enough to pull number “99” and look up to see that they are now serving number “36.”)
What do all of these places have in common? They are generally all very “low energy” places. People are grumpy, unpleasant, downright mean.
This can be said of almost any place where either
(1) there’s a long line,
(2) most people are physically or mentally not well, and/or
(3) people are being asked to part with their money without getting anything they really want in return.
The collective energy in these places is so low that you could come in having just won the lottery and leave depressed and angry.
But I have discovered a way to change all this.
To make everyone happy. Or at least everyone you come in contact with. And that’s all that really matters, right?
The secret is to simply . . . smile. You’ll be amazed at what looking someone in the eye, smiling at her, and saying “thank you” will do for a person’s attitude and behavior.
Think about your life experiences.
From restaurants to gas stations to grocery stores, the employees are universally indifferent towards us customers, at best.
My usual experience with those in the “customer service” arena is that the entire encounter could occur without any words being exchanged. I have to think that most business owners would be horrified by the number of their employees that don’t even say “thank you” to the customers.
And, for the most part, who cares?
Do you need to walk away from picking up your order at the local Chinese joint feeling all warm and fuzzy?
Probably not. But, we have a lot of these individually insignificant encounters throughout our day.
And, at the end of the day, it feels better to have connected positively with the world. It raises your energy level and that of everyone around you.
And, if you want to get something done, creating a positive interaction with the person who can make it happen is essential.
When I showed up at my gate at 3:24 for my 3:25 flight the other day, I knew it was going to take a lot of smiling to get the agent to re-open the door and let me on. She was not happy to see me.
So I smiled a lot, thanked her a lot, and got on the plane. By the end of our two minute conversation, she was actually smiling back.
Of course, some people are more challenging than others. And I’ve found that it helps to assume that everyone is facing something tragic.
When I’m tempted to be nasty back to someone who’s “on the job,” I first tell myself — “I’d be grumpy too if I had to come here every day for just over minimum wage.”
I then run through some possible reason for such unpleasantness.
Maybe their partner just broke up with them.
Maybe a family member is critically ill.
Maybe the bank is foreclosing on their house. Yeah, that must be it.
The point is, you don’t know what anyone else is dealing with. Assume they really need your smile and your support today.
And ultimately, on the off chance that you don’t change the world, you’ll always feel better having smiled than having bought into someone else’s negative energy.
JENNIFER HERNDON is a work at home mom with three fabulous kids. She has been enjoying the time freedom and financial benefits of working at home for over 12 years. Jennifer’s passion is empowering others to personal and business success through a positive mindset and consistent action.
Discover why personal growth is the foundation to your business and personal success in Jennifer’s free mini-course, Seven Simple Success Steps. Get started today.