When you’re confronted by negativity

Know one of the best antidotes for handling negative energy from others?

Sowing little seeds of appreciation. Of course, the specifics of what and how you do this are entirely dependent on the scenario – i.e., read the moment first.

Take this morning for example. I made a stop at the concierge desk to let the gentleman working there know that he didn’t have to file that missing item claim for me after all.

I’d had a lovely conversation with him earlier today, asking if a purple rash guard had turned up anywhere.

It hadn’t, because as I discovered in the final sweep of our room, the swim shirt was hiding in plain sight by the jacuzzi 🤦🏼‍♀️.

Quick aside here. It’s hard wired in my nature not to waste time or resources – whether that’s my own or that of others. This is why you see me turn off light switches every time we leave an Airbnb or a hotel room. We may not be paying the power bill, but someone sure is, and it’s really wrong and low class to run up somebody else’s tab just because you can.

Back to the concierge. We’re checking out today, and I didn’t want to forget to tell him that I’d found my favorite Calia rash guard, which would spare security, housekeeping and others from wasting their valuable time to look for something that wasn’t actually lost.

As I approached the desk, negative energy immediately polluted the air. A trio of unhappy vacationers were giving him an earful of nonsense, and God love him, he was taking it like a consummate professional. This was especially impressive, as they went on and on and on. Idina Menzel singing “Let it go” might’ve been playing in my head, as I stood there watching the unpleasant scene unfold.

“We don’t want this person fired, just retrained.” Stated 2x because I guess they didn’t feel the first time made the point clearly enough.

Really lady? Because I’ve been at the same resort for days and am leaving with nothing but appreciation for the Dominican culture and their sincere hospitality.

When I realized I could’ve played the entire Frozen soundtrack in my head and they would *still be complaining*, I decided to make my move.

“Pardon me, I can see you’re having a conversation.”

Now turning to make eye contact with the kind-hearted concierge who was in customer service hell:

“I’m about to leave sir. I just wanted to let you know I found my purple shirt so you don’t need to file the report. Have a blessed day.”

His face was awash with appreciation to be appreciated.

“Ah thank you so much for letting me know Miss. Safe travels home.”

I have no idea how long the other conversation lasted, but I was grateful we were able to chat respectfully and that he got a bit of a reprieve from the grumbly grumblers.

A few moments later I ran into a housekeeper in the lobby restroom.

“Hola,” she said shyly, as I finished drying my hands.

“Good mornin’!” I replied with a smile. “How are you today?”

Even though I instantly realized she recognized not a word of my Southern English, she met my smile with a beaming one of her own.

I felt uplifted in that moment, and I’m pretty sure she did too.

When people talk about being the good and seeing the good, I like to think that little interactions like this are what they mean. I easily could’ve let the earlier group infect my mood, meeting any friendliness from others with a quiet “don’t talk to me” attitude.

Lord knows I’ve done it before (especially on flights with overly gregarious types re: I’m gonna talk my entire my life story at you and bonus! I don’t read social cues or smell my own halitosis.)

In this case, I’m glad I chose friendliness instead.

We humans are a complicated bunch and our behavior can often be downright aggravating.

Oh but what a good gift you can give to yourself and to others, who are undoubtedly carrying hurts you know nothing about, when you avoid the negativity train, and instead make the time to share warm words and a contagious smile with all who will receive it.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Margrit Enns says:

    Love reading your letters to Eleanor!

    1. Aww! Thank you Mrs. Enns! So many things we learn as mothers and such wisdom that comes “after a certain age.” Just trying to capture all the things I want her to know. Tomorrow isn’t promised!

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