Leave Them Smiling
“I was in Philadelphia airport on the way to Hawaii for my niece’s destination wedding when my wife and I discovered we were in the wrong terminal. I stood there fuming, surrounded by a lot of luggage. I wanted to take out my frustration on someone…but of course, none of the people around me had anything to do with it.”
So began the story Rip shared with me as we drove away from a nice lunch.
He went on to tell me that as he thought about the situation he calmed down and told his wife he had a better idea. He was not going to ruin the trip and their niece’s wedding by spending the time aggravated. Instead he was going to find people doing nice things and focus on them…throughout the entire trip.
Rip shared this story after telling me he had liked and fully agreed with my missive Rude Color Glasses, a story about the infectious nature of rude behavior and the negative impact it causes.
He then proceeded to share how he and his wife talked to a lot of nice people they would not have met had he been wearing rude color glasses. They had a wonderful time throughout their trip and left quite a few people smiling.
It turns out that being nice to people has exactly the opposite effect of being rude. Instead of de-energizing people, infecting those around you with negative thoughts, and lowering your and their performance, you energize people, infect them with positive thoughts, and improve everyone’s performance.
All of you can do what Rip did. Refuse to be controlled by the slights, real and imagined, that pop up around you. Fight back. Turn your attention to the good things around you. To those who hold a door for someone, offer help to a lost traveler who barely speaks the local language, help calm a scared young child who’s never flown before.
As soon as you realize those rude color glasses are about to distort your vision, stop. Take a deep breath. And refuse to let the glasses even settle on your nose.
Become a positive force brightening up the day of those around you.
Notice the difference in the way people treat you when you bring a smile to their face instead of a frown. And notice your and your people’s improvement in performance when you’ve infected them with good will and they’ve passed it along.
Go about wearing rude color glasses or go about with a smile on your face. The choice is yours…and so is the result.
And about that wedding, I hear it was spectacular. And everyone had a wonderful time. But you already knew that…