“Do you cheer up a room when entering it, or when leaving it?”
Have you ever thought about that? What effect do you have on the energy of a room? Do people smile when you enter, or roll their eyes and find an excuse to leave the room.
I have always told Zandra she is a “sunny person.” When she walks in a room, it’s as if the sun comes out. She is bright and cheery and makes everyone feel good. I compare that to those who are “cloudy” or even “stormy” people. When they walk in, you literally feel the energy being sucked right out of the room and it brings the happiness barometer down a couple of levels. Everyone feels it.
I work with people who have communication problems, and one of the things we often need to work on is their metacognitive skills. Their ability to “think about their thinking”. I also teach them that they need to “think about their communication exchanges”. Meaning, after they interact with someone, they need to ask themselves how they did. Did they complain a lot? Did they talk too much? Did they make the other person feel bad or good? Did they build the other person up, or tear them down?
The main question I want them to ask whether the other person walked away from the interaction thinking they want to communicate more with you in the future, or less? Did they leave feeling invigorated or did they leave feeling depleted?
Although we can choose who to interact with sometimes, we can’t always. So that means sometimes we are forced to interact with a stormy person. I think even with stormy people, we can help be a little silver lining for them, if we choose.
But, we have absolute control over the kind of person we choose to be. Sunny or stormy? We can energize, enlighten and invigorate; or we can drain, deplete and discourage.
Who do you want to be?