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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Smiling & Avoiding Cliches

I'd guess no one who knows me well would describe me as jaded or world weary. At the same time, I'm not often surprised by human behavior among us non-sociopaths on the bell curve. After all, I've been around for a little while.

Having said that, I freely acknowledge I'm caught short each time I encounter a person who appears to not yet have learned the benefit of smiling regularly. Like most of us, I've had my fair share of blue moments and when I'm low it's not unusual for others to pick up on that. I do try not to wallow; I'm not always successful. However, I did learn long ago regular smiles get me further than perpetual scowls.

So when I recently found myself compelled yet again to extol to someone the value of a positive demeanor (almost choking as I uttered the cliche "sometimes you have to fake it until you make it"), my departing posture toward this person was light on the usual Pat-style empathy. Instead, I found myself reflecting how predictive it is that this individual continues having difficulty in relationships.

Of course, then I felt guilty for my less than charitable reaction. Aside from saying ten Hail Marys (without a priest's admonition to do so), my main takeaway was relief no one has ever told me I had to fake it until I make it. When did you last encounter someone like this? What was your counsel to them?  

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