I smile a lot. I can’t help it. When I was in High School a kid nicknamed me “Smiley!” LOL. I did not take offense to it. Smiles are truly magical. If you don’t believe it, put on a big smile and just walk around a store and see what happens. People perk up and smile back. Of course there are always the ones who are determined to be grumpy…and I pray for them. :o)
When teaching children, I learned a long time ago to look them in the eye, smile, and call them by name. Those three things get their attention and let them know that they matter to you. It is disarming to look at someone who is genuinely smiling at you. They know you care when you smile.
I use the same technique on fellow teachers, the Principals, the front office staff, the janitors, the kitchen helpers. It is great to see them light up. I had a parent tell me yesterday she missed me when I was not there in the cafeteria to help with the kids because I brought LIFE to the kids. Wow. That was so humbling for me to hear, and yet I believe it starts with a smile.
I am one of the ones chosen to do the dreaded drive line (helping kids get out of the car when they arrive at school), and also the dreaded cafeteria duty (keeping around 700 kids in line, in their seats, eating quietly, and not hitting each other…LOL). I use music on the drive line and it works like magic. Some kids start dancing. Some come and give me hugs. Almost all of them look at me and SMILE. Pretty cool way to start the day, don’t you think? In the cafeteria I stand at the door and greet them one by one as they come in. I don’t use the music then because we are trying to get them calm for lunch, but I do still smile, call them by name if I know it, and give high fives and fist bumps.
Try smiling more and you will find yourself grumbling less. It is a key to unlocking all relationships.