02 Aug Turn Frowns Upside Down
Magic Happens When You Do!
By Motivational Speaker and Smile Aficionado Darryl Davis
The best way to deal with somebody who’s in a negative or nasty mood is to help lift them out of that mood—and the best way to do that is by giving a smile. Remember the old expression that “you attract more bees with honey”? Let me share a personal story that illustrates this.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to speak at a national convention in Florida. As is common at many conventions, the sponsoring organization negotiated special pricing at a local attraction. Of course, since the convention was in Orlando, it was for Disney World. The special offer was the Twilight ticket, where you could enter the park after 4 p.m. for about 40 percent of the regular price. Pretty awesome deal! So, my fiancée and I went over to the park and headed to the ticket gate for our twilight tickets. Now, the woman at Disney World had just finished with a guest (as Disney calls customers) who was on line ahead of us, and who had not been very nice, to say the least. So, this Disney cast member (the name for Disney customer service reps) was visibly not in the best mood as I approached her. I asked to purchase a twilight ticket, and she explained to me that she couldn’t sell me the ticket because it had to be purchased directly from the association that was running the convention. Based on where the convention was being held, it would’ve taken us a good 90 minutes to go back and forth to get this ticket.
So, obviously, I was very disappointed. But my fiancée and I decided to joke around with the cast member for a bit, to show that we were good sports. We started saying things like, “Oh, please, isn’t there anything you can do? We love Tinker Bell. Don’t you have some magical pixie dust behind the counter? You could create a magical moment for me!” And so on. No matter what we tried and no matter how playful we were (smiling the whole time), however, nothing seemed to work. So, the final thing I said to this woman was, “I totally understand, but thank you so much for trying to help us.” I said it very sincerely, not sarcastically, and began to leave. I must have been about 10 feet away when all of a sudden I heard a shout from behind me. This cast woman was yelling, “Excuse me, sir! Please come back here.” So, I turned back around, and the next thing she did was ask where I was from. I told her I was from New York. She then asked to see my ID. Of course, when you ask a New Yorker for his ID, the next natural response is, “Why? Am I in trouble?” After a few clicks on her keyboard, however, she handed me an envelope with a smile. I opened up the envelope, and what did I see but two free tickets! And not just any free tickets! They were Park Hopper tickets—which meant that we could go to any one of the parks that we chose—and she didn’t even charge me! I felt as if she had just handed me the last Willy Wonka Golden ticket!
Now, while I had been smiling and talking about Tinker Bell and pixie dust, the other guest at the ticket booth next to me was still yelling at the Disney cast member about her inability to get into the park with the ticket she had. I can’t tell you all the details because I’m not a skilled eavesdropper, but the bottom line was that she wasn’t being allowed into the park. So, while the person next to me was playing the part of Grumpy, my fiancée and I were feeling like Snow White and Happy. We got into the park while that woman was still out at the ticket counter yelling at the poor cast member.
Bottom line, there are a lot of ways to approach adversity. You can come out verbal guns blazing and play the villain, or you can break out your best kindness magic and be the hero. I guarantee you’ll get much further, make way more positive connections, and have a lot more to smile about when you try the magical route. Who knows? You might even find yourself park-hopping in “the happiest place on earth”!
Take it heart! I’d love to hear from you about your magical upside-down frown experiences! Follow me on social media and share your thoughts!