Learning how to brush off a bad interaction is a skill that takes practice and patience. A skill that can make or break an entire day’s mood. Whether it be getting cut off in traffic or a stranger being short, we’re surrounded by actions we have no control over. Actions that can directly affect us or roll off our backs. It took me years to master how to let these unwanted interactions go so I work hard to be a positive interaction for everyone I meet.
How we treat people has the potential to set off a chain of unpleasant feelings in someone’s life or be the spark to a brighter day ahead. While we’re not responsible for how people respond to their surroundings, we can be the reason someone feels good. We can be an ounce of joy in a day we don’t know anything about. We can always try our best not to be a problem in someone else’s story.
I take every opportunity to make someone smile. Holding the door open for someone behind me, complimenting a stranger’s outfit, wishing everyone in the elevator a great week, or simply smiling at someone as we cross paths. I want to instigate as many good days as I can because good days are contagious and happy people spread joy. If I can make someone smile, I help release dopamine and serotonin in their body. I can literally help fight off a stranger’s stress with a simple and effortless act.
This morning I had an icky interaction with the barista at Starbucks. My first interaction of the day, pre-caffeine, is obviously more pleasant when I’m greeted with some sort of warmth! She seemed hungover and snappy and possibly on her way to making a lot of mornings more difficult than they needed to be. Instead of reciprocating her attitude and probably sending my own attitude down the gutter, I chose to treat her as I would the most friendly Starbucks employee in the world. Wishing her a great day and thanking her for her help! Maybe that wouldn’t change the course of her day, but I know it changed mine and with that I took control of spreading joy.
I got back into my car inspired to make people smile. Fueled by my strength turning an uncomfortable situation into a proactive one, I knew I was going to lift spirits. I was now extra motivated to hand out reasons for people to feel good.
As my morning went on I was able to have short interactions with many different people while walking my dog. The more smiles I saw, the more excited I was to continue. I might not be able to change the world in a day but I can definitely brighten moods within seconds!
Finding ways to flip negative energy into motivation not only benefits me and my life but I truly believe that feeling trickles into my society. That pit in my stomach dealing with the nasty barista was a reminder of how easy it is to feel bad over little moments. It lit a fire under me to pass out positivity today and always. There are too many reasons we can be upset in this world, it’s my mission to be a reason to smile.