Last summer, my family and I visited a farmer’s market and art fair (no worries… everyone was masked and social distancing was in effect). It was a gorgeous day. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves – patrons and vendors alike. We wandered into a booth selling pet accessories – leashes, collars, water bowls, et al, and there was a beautiful Bernese Mountain dog just chillin’ – calm as can be taking in the passersby. We said to her owner, “Your baby is so sweet!” She rolled her eyes, looked at us with a scowl and said, “She so doesn’t want to be here.” Awkward! Without another word, the three of us made a beeline out of the stall – my son commenting, “I can tell it’s not the dog that doesn’t want to be here.”
On the flip side, later that day, the boys and I happened upon a sidewalk café where we hoped to grab some lunch. The host at the desk greeted us with a warm, genuine smile and said, “Welcome back!” I don’t know if he meant it or not, but I’m thinking he did. He was so friendly and clearly a “people person,” happy to be outdoors, feeding grateful customers, on a beautiful day. We loved everything about our experience – starting with the host, eyeing a flock of hummingbirds feasting nearby, delighting in a delicious meal, being with one another. It was fabulous.
The difference in the two experiences was stark. With the pet accessory vendor, we couldn’t get away fast enough. She projected such negativity and we felt concerned that the ugliness would rub off on us. In the second example, at the café, the fellow greeting us oozed positivity, happiness, optimism – we couldn’t get enough of what he was projecting.
The point, of course, be mindful of what you project to others. If you are having a lousy day, perhaps you’d be better off hanging out alone, going for a run, taking a long walk, meditating, reading a book… something other than interacting with others. If, on the other hand, you are bubbling with energy, feeling good and positive and confident, by all means, share that with the world. Whatever aura is surrounding you is how others will perceive you. Make an effort to leave people feeling good about your interactions together.