If you chance to meet a frown, Do not let it stay.
Quickly turn it upside down and smile that frown away.
No one likes a frowning face. Change it for a smile.
Make the world a better place by smiling all the while.
I think this is one of my favorite songs this year.
It is a song for the kids at church to sing and while we haven't had time to sing it often, I sing it to myself quite a lot.
I wrote about my New Years Resolution to THRIVE this year and everything I've don't has revolved around this goal.
Smiling is one of them. Let me explain.
I know this will come as a shock (that is sarcasm folks), but not everyone in the world likes me. In fact I get the feeling from some people that they downright loathe me.
A year ago this would really make me feel bad and just eat at me. I would just want to find a way to be liked by whoever didn't like me and I would just obsess about it. And if they just would not like me, I wouldn't like them either. So there.
Then I learned a few things:
1. Nobody likes everyone and nobody is liked by everyone. Even the sweetest person in the world has another human being who bugs the crap out of them and odds are someone just cannot stand that sweet person too.
There are people who annoy me to death (just like I'm sure you have a person or two like that for you). With that in mind, why in the world would I think I am exempt from being disliked on occasion? I'm not that cool.
2. Part of life is learning how to treat those we don't enjoy with kindness. That is hard to do, but necessary. And sometimes we learn to like that person as we treat them with kindness. Or we at least reach a place I refer to as being a "nothing person". Let me explain that.
First off, I totally got that from the show SCRUBS (Love that show). Second, to nothing a person means you don't like or dislike them, you are totally neutral on them, therefore you "nothing" them. When I don't know a person well I "nothing" them as a default position and it has served me well.
3. We need to accept that people won't always like us, but we don't have to be around people who aren't nice to us. I've never heard "turn the other cheek and sit there and take it," yet we do that too often. There should be consequences in life and this year I have found the best consequence for when people are unkind is to remove yourself from their presence. (Oh, did I not mention that consequences don't always equal punishment? Who made that silly rule anyhow?)
These were good things for me to learn this year. Accepting these things gave me the ability to not feel upset when someone doesn't like me but to respect their feelings and have compassion towards them, especially those who take not liking someone that step further (that we have all done at some point in life and have all lived to regret it) and badmouth the object of their dislike or just blatantly treat them unkindly.
But, what do you do when this happens:
Ah yes. The evil eye. I have been the recipient of a few of those this year. At first I would look down because I didn't want to be mistaken for giving the stink eye back. But that was no fun.
So, now I have been working to smile at people when they toss me a glare.
Because no one likes a frowning face you know.
(And seriously, isn't that video not only funny but true? Look at how hard they are working to give a dirty look. It is funny because it is true. What a waste of time. But totally hilarious too.)
And here is the kicker for me. I don't have to reciprocate negativity. What a waste of my time and energy. Instead I can smile and hope that hearts will be softened towards me and instead of using all that negativity too people will decide to either have nice thoughts towards me or "nothing" me, which works too.
At the very least I am not accepting their burden of dislike in my life. That is their problem to deal with. I have enough problems, why in the world would I want to take on someone else's?
Besides, I can't THRIVE when I frown. I need to smile and be happy. And sometimes what makes me happy is knowing that whosit from down the way can't stand me, but I'm cool with her. Because I'm a big girl and I can choose not to be offended and I can choose to respect another person's feelings without having to take it onto myself.
So, what I am suggesting is that the next time you are with someone you don't enjoy or who doesn't enjoy you, why not smile anyhow? It certainly can't hurt. They can't throw it away and you get to know that you didn't take on the blah of someone else's day. Life is so much happier that way.
(Oh and an aside on badmouthing and whatnot: What other people say about you isn't always true. People who actually get to know you will remember that and you will be remembered for your reaction to what others say to and about you. I have a plaque in my house that I love. It says "Be too big to take offense and too little to give it". Badmouthing is a frown out loud. Smiles go pretty far there too.)