If you read my blog regularly, you know there’s a character who I mention from time to time. I call him “Mr. No Joy.” He represents all the mean, rude, or miserable types we all have to deal with, but he’s based on a real person I encountered years ago.
My experience with Mr. No Joy taught me some valuable lessons for how to deal with negative or disrespectful people, and how to protect and increase the joy in my life. In a nutshell, you need to:
- Reclaim your joy—Don’t let other people steal it.
- Send more joy to people who don’t seem to have any.
- Respect everyone—even Mr. No Joy!
- Remember that you get back what you give, so choose to give joy.
I know what you’re thinking. “Dew, you’re so sunny and positive all the time; responding with joy is easy for someone like you!” Guess what? It’s not easy for anyone, me included. It’s hard to let things go when you think you’ve been wronged. Maintaining joy can be hard work, but it pays off!
Reclaim your joy!
One day, I was prospecting and ended up on the phone with a decision-maker who was in a nasty mood—and let’s just say he didn’t mind sharing that nasty mood with me. He was wildly rude. His behavior was so bad that I spent the rest of my day figuring out how I would get back at him.
At the end of the day, I had a call with my sales coach. As I told the story, I realized that I had wasted tons of precious time and emotional energy plotting my revenge, all based on one bad interaction.
I let Mr. No Joy take away all of my joy for the day. How miserable!
After that day, I decided to reclaim my joy—and not allow other people’s behavior to steal it away.
Often, when we let people take away our joy, the other person doesn’t even know it. Has a minor traffic incident ever made you angry enough to shout through your windshield at the other driver? Then, when you catch up with them further down the road, still consumed with rage, you suddenly realize they’re completely oblivious. They never even realized they ruined your day!
You’ve given your joy over to a mythical creature who may not even know you exist!
Send more joy to stay positive
So, what can we do to keep other people from stealing our joy? Send joy—on purpose!
Sending more joy into other people’s lives reminds us of our own joy, and also encourages others to send joy back to us.
Next time, the moment you get cut off in traffic, send that person more joy. Instead of yelling at the guy who cut you off, say, “Oh! Let me create some room for you, so you can get to your meeting on time! I hope you get there on time!” (P.S. This isn’t written in sarcasm font.)
Can they hear you? No. But they couldn’t hear you yelling, either!
Some people choose a mantra to send joy, or a blessing like “Peace be with you.” Sending joy in these situations reminds us that we’re just having just one bad minute—and one bad minute shouldn’t ruin your whole day.
Respect everyone—even Mr. No Joy
If you have the opportunity to send more joy and positivity to someone in person, even better. Instead of letting a co-worker or client steal your joy, can you just send that person more joy?
When someone’s 20 minutes late for an appointment, I could get mad. I could decide that person’s rude, or that they don’t respect me or my time, and send a snippy text. But that’s letting them steal my joy!
Instead, I’ll give them a call and make sure I send joy—even if I get their voicemail:
“I’m just leaving a message for our one o’clock meeting. You might be overlapped with another meeting—and I understand, get back to me when you can!”
The other person, who might be feeling anxiety or guilt about being late, feels relieved. Instead of shaming them and letting your day get ruined, you’ve injected joy into the situation. And chances are, they’ll treat you more positively in return.
You get back what you give
Someone cuts you off in traffic. You didn’t get transferred after being on hold. Your Zoom call got disconnected. Your insurance agent asks for a document you already sent. Your client is a no-show after confirming two times. There’s so many little things that don’t really matter much, but we let them steal our joy.
I really believe that whatever you put out in the universe is what will come back to you. Every day, we face challenges—whether it’s a difficult client or just Siri refusing to cooperate—and it’s too easy to let one bad minute ruin our day. But even in situations that are out of our control, we still get to choose between being optimistic or pessimistic.
Instead of sending bad juju out into the world to the people who have upset you in some way, stop and ask yourself how you can send them more joy.
Naturally, sending joy to others can inspire them to send joy back into our lives. But it’s crucial to send joy even when no one else will notice it—because a negative attitude will always work against you.
At the end of the day, where our joy goes is our choice. Choose to reclaim it!
Until next time—go sell some stuff!