I know this one sounds like a tall order. That’s probably because it is a tall order. We all have days that we just don’t want to be nice. The world isn’t being nice to us that day, so why should we have to be nice to the world?
Well, because it will help you in the long run.
My theory is pretty simple here. Sure, first impressions are important, but any impression a person has of you is important. It only takes a momentary interaction to change a coworker’s opinion of you. Sure, it may only take one other impression to change their opinion back to positive, but I think it’s easier to make a bad impression than it is to make a good one. Think of it this way: If a coworker opens a door for you, you will smile and thank them. If they slam a door in your face, you will remember it for a while. And try your best to slam something in their face.
To stay on the safe side, just try to be nice to everyone. Well, not everyone. Your closest friends and coworkers will, of course, understand when you just need to have a mean moment. But, those people who you only interact with occasionally will not know any better. They are liable to think you are being mean to them intentionally. Or, if not intentionally, they may think that you’re just a mean person all the time. Not cool.
Ok, so be nice. Got it. But, how you can be nice all the time is a little tricky. I suggest you smile. A lot. Just be pleasant to people. Ask them how their day is going. Offer to help carry things. Compliment their new shirt. Do whatever it takes to make the few seconds you’re with them positive. The next time they see you they will immediately have a good feeling about you. That’s the main goal here.
At the very least, if you must be mean…just try to make a joke out of it. “Sorry for slamming the door in your face. I have a pretty crippling fear of people following me through doorways. I’m trying to work on it, but I’m still a long way off.”
I bet they’ll smile.