In life, there are adders & subtractors.
Adders are the kinds of people who enhance situations. They’re helpful, kind, and give off positive energy. They add. Subtractors do the opposite. While they might not be complete a-holes, they’re often negative, pessimistic and like to complain a lot. I’ll bet you can think of examples of both in your life. You’ve probably taken turns as an adder and a subtractor.
I know I have.
Adders and subtractors have lots of power. They can change the dynamic of a room simply by walking into it– with good OR bad juju in tow. Say you’re at a dinner party, having a great time and someone arrives late. If they walk in the door apologetically, but smiling and excited to be there? Great. That’s an add. But if they start bitching about traffic and how crappy their day was and jeez I need a damn drink? Um, subtract.
There’s an easy way to be an adder, every day, in any situation.
Yep, it’s simple and cheesy. But it’s the truth. A smile is literally all it takes to be an adder.
Here’s how to apply this (in a mostly non-cheesy way):
Think of how many new spaces you enter on any given day. The kitchen in the morning, your office, the gym, your house after work. What do you act like when you walk through that door? Do you smile and greet people? Do you just go through the motions? Do you suffer from resting bitch face (like me!) and inadvertently glower at people? Do you glower on purpose?
Whatever the case, and whether you like it or not, this affects not only you but the people around you. It rubs off. And if you’re crabby, it’s only going to make things worse.
I’ve been testing this out for months and am shocked at how differently people react to me. Smile on my face? I get smiles back. Scowl? You know what I’m gonna say. If you want to experience this in a particularly impressive way, try smiling at people the next time you’re in a crowded place. Sporting event, packed bar, concert.
Email me with your results.
If you’re not game for that, how’d but just for the rest of the week (really!), try to smile whenever you enter a new space. If you want extra-credit, smile when a new person enters a space you’re in. It might feel awkward at first, but it will eventually become second nature.
You don’t need to go crazy– like how I’d imagine Taylor Swift might act if she found a litter of kittens in a donut shop that rained glitter and sprinkles.
Just a subtle smile will work.
However, if you want some extra good vibes, try greeting someone you really like with the enthusiasm of a golden retriever. I literally do this every day when my husband gets home from work (sometimes I even lick his face… no, I don’t… okay, maybe I do!) and I swear it changes the entire dynamic of our evening.
Lastly, if you have a chronic subtractor in your life, try to chop ’em off at the knee by sneaking in some adder behavior before they even have the chance to poop on your rug. I like to unleash the golden retriever on these people. It doesn’t always work, but it’s always worth a shot.
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Want some other simple tricks to making your life just a little better? Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Trust me, it feels good.
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