Have you ever gone to a place of business and been greeted by the receptionist with disregard or disrespect? You’re not sure if they are displeased with their job or unhappy with their life in general, but either way now you’re uncomfortable or unhappy.
Or perhaps you’ve just gotten off work, it’s late, you need to do some holiday shopping so you head to the mall. All you need is one little item before you can head home and have dinner, but person after person you come into contact with is gruff, rude, or generally unpleasant to interact with. As you encounter each unpleasant exchange you become more and more drained and your overall mood just gets less and less agreeable.
On the flip side of those scenarios, have you ever been somewhere and a random person acknowledges you by giving you a simple smile or says hello? Perhaps they compliment something you’re wearing or your hair. It can change your mood entirely. Such a simple positive gesture can uplift your mood, just as a negative one can crash it.
When you are at the drive in of a fast food restaurant, or in the check out lane of the grocery, how do you greet the person taking your order or money? Sure we all have long or rough days, but if you were in the other person’s shoes, would you want their bad day and attitude to be put onto you? Probably not.
While you might not feel quite up to being perky, being gracious and mindful might still be possible. Acknowledging the person in front of you, thanking them for their service or help can make a huge difference in a person’s day to day and they might reciprocate with an enthusiastic and sincere thank you or other greeting.
Online people feel a certain disconnect from one another because they don’t see the face of the other person they are conversing with. Sometimes that makes it easier for people to say or do things they might not in person. Negative or aggressive comments can be dropped on a person’s lap without rhyme or reason. In turn this might cause a reaction from the receiver to lash out at the individual who left the negative comment. Things might spiral down from there.
Instead of instigating a confrontation, be mindful of what you say in your response to a post. Take a moment and decide if this is something you wish to feed, or flame, let it go, or maybe even turn it around for the better.
Equally so, have you ever received an unexpected compliment from a person online? Every now and again people I don’t really know, except from online, will drop me a quick message just to say hello and hope that I’m well. It always brings a smile to my face.
Recently I received a comment to one of my posts, made (much to my surprise) by a member of the blog group I’m participating with, a member I’ve never met or interacted with previously. Their comment, though brief, brought no value to me, my post, or anything discussed within. It was negative and arrogant with a “JMHO” tagged on the end, like a false “no offense” offering after being offensive. One thing I decided not to do was engage this individual in an equally negative reaction.
Fortunately, after a discussion about it with Chris who read it and also felt it was an unnecessarily negative comment for this person to leave, he reminded me that attitude is contagious. I eventually choose instead to delete the comment. It was disappointing and unfortunately it soured my mood for part of my day, but it was the best course of action. Lucky for me he always knows how to make me laugh and smile; one of many traits I greatly admire about him.
My message today is simple: Be mindful of what you put forth. Your words, your actions; they have an impact on others that you come in contact with.