“Little Grey Raincloud People” in your Life (3/11/22)
Have you spent time this week with any “little grey raincloud people”? I’ve given them that title because they have a knack for putting a damper on positive moments. It’s like they can see that you’re having a good day so they figure out a way to ruin it with their negative comments. (Some of them might be the “friends” we talked about last week).
The word “grey” is defined as dreary, depressing, melancholy or uninspiring… an accurate description of discouragers. You know who they are – because you’ve heard their critical, negative comments. Some Raincloud People don’t even realize they’re doing it because it’s a habit ingrained in how they think, talk and behave. Others may defend themselves with comments like, “Who? Me? I was only kidding.” But intentional or not, the words still sting.
The Good News is that each of us has the power to turn things around by making a conscious effort to encourage others. But we often let those moments pass us by. We’re busy, so it’s easier to assume others know we appreciate their efforts instead of taking our precious time to tell them. Since people aren’t mind readers, however, it’s up to us to let them know. The opportunities – and the possibilities – are endless.
Although we may put forth our best efforts to be positive with colleagues, coworkers, friends and neighbors, we sometimes don’t try hard enough with family – the people who are supposed to be the most important ones in our lives. We can just “be ourselves” with them, right? It’s so easy to take people for granted. Think about it. We smile and thank a total stranger for holding a door open for us, then assume that those closest to us automatically know we appreciate the many kind, valuable and helpful things they do. We apologize for bumping into someone in a crowded aisle yet find it hard to say “I’m sorry” when we’ve hurt someone’s feelings or damaged a relationship by a thoughtless comment (intentional or not).
All of us have daily contact with people who have discouragers in their lives. If they don’t talk about it we have no way of knowing what they’ve dealt with in the past or what they’re dealing with now. While we can’t undo the damage, we DO have the power to have a positive impact as an encourager. In a wide variety of companies and organizations, awards for effort and hard work are given out at recognition events every year. But other words – simple words – of appreciation often go unspoken.
When we stop taking people for granted and let them know how much we value them, we can have an impact more powerful than we ever imagined. Encouraging words are never wasted. But if the words are never spoken, they will never be heard.
So… who needs to hear from you today?
And what are you going to say?