Power of the Positive

I went to a fast-serve lunch with my family recently. While we were there, I pleasantly engaged in conversation with (almost) every person who contacted me. It made our meal more relaxed, and every single person said some version of, “have a nice day”. When you leave, and you reflect on the time you just spent, was it positive? Every person can do this, all the time. We just have to try.

I guess you could say I am an extrovert. Finding a common way to connect with strangers isn’t always difficult, but I have many years of professional experience engaging in conversation with strangers. Until recently I just looked at it as part of my personality.

There is a new incentive at work now.

Part of my mission is to create the world that ought to be.

I have young children and would like for the world to be a better place than it is now. I have an obligation to work towards making it that way, can’t expect everyone else to do it for us. I am a member of society, so as a form of participation I try to coerce others to be more positive and look at things in a way that is beneficial to all. If my “gift” is being able to engage with strangers (aka the public), and perhaps I can influence their way of looking at the world, even if just for a moment, even if just a tiny little eensy weensy bit.

There is a subtle method, though. You can’t just go up to everyone and be like “The world is great and so are you! Let’s all just be great people together!” People will think you are crazy and avoid you, at least people like my husband. He “hates most people”, supposedly, but it’s really that he is just tired of the bs. So he clicks “off” in his brain when it comes to others, reminding me why we are married. I am his buffer to the world. I am the middleman that gets things done efficiently, and with a smile, so he doesn’t have to deal with others.

Best trick- Make them laugh. You have to find some common thread that you can identify with, and turn it on it’s head. Once they laugh, it’s like putty. You can work with it and turn it into something it might not have been without your influence.

There are so many people in the world like my husband. Positive people can take that attitude or mentality or whatever you want to call it and turn it around. We can get inside and make the necessary changes, kind of like little elf helpers. The best part is, they don’t even know you are doing it. It just happens. All it takes is the right comment, at the right time, to influence their thinking in a direction that is beneficial to all.

Can we all identify with one person, one person who needs us to make their day a little better, without them even knowing?

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Awkward Moments

photo credit: Shandi-lee / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

This is awkward

So here we are, sitting at a table with some lovely ladies at my husbands church. I had been invited to join them for a women’s conference and dinner. We are all chatting, vying for airtime, trying to be humorous and most of these jokes are centering around our role as mothers and wives. One question is posed about baby showers. Do you have one for every baby? Or just for each gender? Or just one? So the friend who asks the question makes a comment, “I mean, seriously, what do you buy someone who already has 4 kids?”

I cofidently blurt out “A noose!” Well, two of the dignified ladies almost spit their food out in sudden laughter because I am sure they were quite surprised that this not-yet-member of their church is daring enough to say something so absurd… and it obviously hit their funny bone. The other two, gave me the most polite dirty look I have ever seen and remained silent for the next 10 minutes or so.

Oops.

So what is the right thing to do here? Do we apologize for our words? It was obviously well-received by half the table, and if my vote counts- that makes a majority. Should I have said something apologetic in quiet to the ladies who were unaccepting of my radical joke while I was in their modest setting? Well, I of course did the casual ‘forget I said that’ hand wave- and the “I’m just kidding, just kidding, just a joke, just kidding” sidestep.

Well, that was an awkward moment.