Y’know how people argue that it’s not so much what you say but how you say it that counts? They’re positively right. But I’d argue that this goes far beyond even when you’re directly engaging others. If you really pay attention, people are always communicating, even when they’re not speaking.
Picture this with me here: It’s Monday. You’re already in a slightly shitty mood because you slept through your alarm and had only 15 minutes to get ready. Today you were busier putting out fires and running to meetings than actually getting work done and you’re dragging your feet by the end of it all. On your way home, you realize you have nothing for dinner so you pop into your local store to get your groceries done and you do it swiftly. You spin around in a huff, hustling from section to section with no time to recognize that you’re surrounded by 10’s if not, 100’s of people. You don’t realize it but you’ve been walking around with a foul look on your face since that random guy and his kid who bumped into your cart took off without so much as even acknowledging your presence. To top it off, one of the ingredients you picked up doesn’t have a scan code and God forbid, you have to wait a whole minute before the cashier figures out how to punch in your item. And she appears to be mad at YOU about the whole thing.
What do you think you’re communicating to everyone? More importantly, what are you communicating to yourself?
“But Corinne,” you might be saying, “I don’t care what other people think. If I’m having a crappy day, I’m having a crappy day.” Fair enough. I can’t argue that and the last thing I want you to do is suck it all up and pretend that you didn’t have a Monday from hell. If you always pretend that nothing is wrong, you create an even bigger problem. BUT was it all really that bad? I mean, really. Perspective is key here. Bigger picture, folks. A bad day is a bad day, not a bad life.
When you walk around like it’s the worst day of your life, as much as you might not notice it, that’s ridiculously contagious. That guy and kid who bumped into you and didn’t bother to give you a kind glance, may have seen you coming from a mile away. You were already huffing and puffing along and he didn’t think it was worth it to even say a word when he accidentally bumped his cart into yours. The lady at the register probably didn’t make eye contact with you when you sighed loudly about that unlabelled item because the last three customers were in the same mood you were in and she was just not having it anymore. She was tired from being on her feet for an extra long shift.
So not only did you lose the opportunity to connect with others on even a very simple level (and possibly make their days a little better in the process), you also continued a vicious cycle for yourself. The more you got sucked into the little things that made your day less than perfect, the more you indulged in negative energy, and the worse you felt. You essentially told yourself that it was a crappy day and there was no way out of it and your body communicated that to everyone you encountered, as well as to yourself.
The next time you have a day that’s not going quite right, switch it up.
Instead of walking around with your shoulders slumped, stuck in your thoughts, grumbling about how everything that could’ve possibly went wrong, did – try smiling. Really.
Close your eyes and think of someone you love, someone who would do anything to make a shitty day glorious for you again. Picture them looking at you with a huge smile on their face. Feel what it’s like to be with that person and let your lips curl into a smile. Imagine sharing an awesome moment with them where it’s just the two of you and absolutely nothing else matters.
Now take that energy with you everywhere you go. You’ll find that the day changes significantly when you just shift your energy to a more positive vibe. You’ll be amazed how others respond when you’re in that space and you’re communicating without even saying a single word.