Your effect on others
Okay, so take a moment to think about your day, and maybe your week for a good range of examples. How does the mood and behavior of other people effect you? That power can be fairly strong. A tone in someone’s voice can make or break your mood, and you have that same power over others.
For instance, I wake in the morning, normally in a good mood, and head to work. Depending on the day, I might have to call to pay bills, or deal with customers over the phone, and of course there are always coworkers to interact with. It’s interesting to me how a genuinely bubbly person in the accounts receivable department can take my call and leave me with a smile at the end of our discussion. His or her happy demeanor rubs off on me, and even better, makes my demeanor better towards those around me. The term “Pay it forward” is one that many of you may be familiar with.
In the same instance, having one customer who is upset, (not necessarily just upset, but in the kind of mood where even if you can resolve their issue they are still raving) can really bring down my whole day. The affect of their mood permeates my being, sometimes affecting those around me because I am not my bubbly normal self. I try to prevent it as much as I can from seeping into my psyche but I am only human and sometimes there is just no beating that negativity.
I’m big on self-help books and like to hear different theories on finding success and happiness because I think that people really want to share what works for them, and in turn, put out great information. Now obviously what works for one may not always work for another, if that were the case there would be one all knowing self help book that fixed the world problems and solved all the heartbreak and despair, poverty and grief.
I study self-help books almost like a theology, because I feel that people who have found their inner faith and spirit (and I’m meaning whatever you consider your inner faith or spirit, God, Buddah, Allah, whichever you connect with, or maybe just your own personal belief in yourself) are people who have an easier time being happy.
One of the things I have heard in many of the books I have read is that the smallest actions have the most fantastic or ominous affects on others surrounding us. I think about the people I see in my day and how quickly kind words change my bad mood to lighter, or how quickly a scowl and harsh words can really affect a happy mood that I have. So in reading and listening to these books and studying up on the law of attraction, the theories they present really hit home for me.
I remember how if mom or dad had a bad day, often times it would carry into home and affect us, or how I would go to work with one boss in specific who was always in a bad mood and how I would prep myself by being in my own grim mood, ready for his wrath. We pay things forward, even the negative, to the next batch of people we interact with, unless we physically and consciously make a choice not to allow those negative people to affect our day.
Here’s an example from my life. About 10 years ago, I had a really dark period in my life where I was certain that this life and the people I loved in it, would truly be better and healthier without me. I was in a bad place and the reason for that bad place was because I let someone really affect me. She had seriously damaged a relationship with a friend that I had, and for no reason but to create pain, hurt and drama. In addition I gave her power by allowing what she did to affect me and really get me down. So down that one day I drank a massive bottle of wine and sat on my bathroom floor contemplating how to exit this world to save all around me from my bane of existence. Yeah, she got to me so much that I seriously thought about walking out of this life and leaving my daughters side (who was 7 at the time), and my family, who was always very loving and supportive, because of her actions and harsh words.
I allowed her behavior to affect me to the point that in my own head, her life was more important than my own, or that of my daughters, because let’s be real, it would have really messed up my daughters life had I followed through. But, as I sit here and write these words…. clearly I didn’t. I drug myself to bed, miserable and cried myself to sleep. By morning I woke and as I laid there, the weight of the night before and the hurt settled into my chest. We’ve all done that, woken to remember a horrible night previously. It was then that it dawned on me. Prior to waking, subconsciously, I was was doing okay, but I allowed what happened the day before to seep into my thoughts the second I was conscious. I allowed it. I laid there pondering for a few moments the way I feel and thought about if I could overcome what I was feeling. I said these things to myself:
Does she have control over whether I wake in the morning?
Does she have control over if my heart beats and if I am breathing?
Does she have control over the sun that shines through my bedroom window onto my face (which btw feels fantastic)?
Does she have control over the love of my child?
Does she have control over the love of my family?
I laid there realizing the answer to all of these questions was NO! I allowed myself the moment to breath, felt my heart beat in my neck, enjoyed that sun on my face, and opened my heart to all the love I felt for my family and my daughter and allowed myself to feel all the love they had for me. Nothing, and no one, could take those things from me. It was that day that I realized I had found my light switch. No one was going to get into my head and be allowed to make me feel that I needed to end myself or anything in my life. I had the power, and they didn’t matter. I was not allowing them in any more.
I have used those same questions on the worst of worst days. Sometimes in slightly different context, and not since have I used them contemplating ending my life, because that thought now never enters my head. I do however use them to allow myself to realize that no problem is so big that I can’t overcome it, and no problem is so big that it can take over and control any of the things that are that important to me.
I want each of you to take a moment and be genuinely kind to someone else today, and I want you to tell me about your switch if you have found it, or think about the questions you could ask yourself that could change your thoughts. Where and what is your switch? You have one, it’s up to you to find it.