If that doesn’t work, there’s always cake… But, first, let’s talk about kindness.
People fascinate me. Regardless of your job or group of friends, you are bound to encounter all types. There are the dramatists who are only happy when it rains. The socialites who insist on being the center of attention. The shy ones who take a while to get to know, but are always worth it. The negative ones who never have a kind word to say about anything. The overly optimistic ones who (let’s be honest) you sometimes wish would get taken down a couple of notches. The list goes on and on.
My line of work seems to attract the extremes. I am surrounded by Type A’s who not only are passionate about what they do, but also get paid to be nit-picky and argumentative. *sigh* Some thrive on the fight (i.e., the litigators whom you see at the courthouse) while others avoid it like the plague (i.e., corporate lawyers). I’m convinced that deciding where you fall on the advocacy spectrum is critical to survive and avoid burnout.
My place in both my personal and professional life :: Kill them with kindness.
I’ve had this debate a lot lately, but I just don’t see the point in expending the energy to be ugly. Besides, it’s harder to argue with someone who is calm, rational, and says it all with a smile. I’m even kind to people who I know don’t like me. I can’t help it. The golden rule was instilled in me at a young age. It may seem naive at times, but, trust me, I have a pretty keen sixth sense. And, when I do decide to bite, I find that people take me much more seriously because it is so ‘out of character’.
Sometimes, though, kindness just isn’t enough… Last week, I was surrounded by crankiness. Several people were out of the office and those left behind (myself included) were swamped. You could have cut the negative vibes with a knife, and all the kindness in the world wasn’t going to fix it.
If all else fails, turn to sweets. On one of the many rainy nights, I filled the void left by my inability (or lack of desire) to ride by baking this beauty. A raspberry pound cake.
People were so shocked by and appreciative of this “just-because cake” that – at least for a morning – the office was a better place to be. So, in the end, I guess you could say that kindness wins again! 😉
UPDATE: Within minutes after posting this, a sweet-tooth fairy left a piece of strawberry cake on my desk when I was out to grab lunch. Further proof that nothing brightens up a bad day like random acts of kindness, especially the ones that involve sugar!!