How have the virus, the lockdowns, the uncertainty affected you?
Some people claim to have ridden the storm, they have come out of this stronger and very focussed, but I suspect they are in the minority.
Others have been affected by the pandemic quite badly, or at least negatively. Many I speak to are not just tired, they are weary. Many of my contacts claim they are finding it difficult to reach the same level of energy and momentum as they experienced pre-covid.
Alongside the physical issues, of equal concern is our mental state. Many have suffered without actually having Covid. The lockdowns, the masks, the zoom calls, the restrictions, the sad loss of friends and family and the relentless ‘bad news’ that the media throws at us, have all taken their toll.
Do we talk about our melancholy? Probably not. Like me, you have learned that the response to the question ‘how are you?’ should never be ‘not great thank you’. Only close friends will be genuinely interested in our welfare. More business will be done with people who are ‘good thanks’ than those who are ‘not great’.
A year or so ago, when feeling… despondent, I decided to answer truthfully, the question ‘how are you?’ I noticed two things:
1/ Everyone expressed concern, but conversations were shorter, unless that is I made a point of ‘perking up’.
2/ Asking the health of others, resulted in a range of answers between ‘great’ and nothing worse than ‘ok thanks’.
If there is genuine concern, they may ask again, ‘no, how are you really?’ Now that’s a friend.
What can we deduce from this?
- Only true friends want to know the real answer, and are likely to help.
- Acquaintances or new contacts will make the expected social responses but are likely to feel uncomfortable enough to withdraw from the conversation at an early stage.
What can we learn from this? Nobody likes a grumbler!
If you do need help, confide in real friends who you know will be genuine and care about you. You can also enlist the help of someone who has proven skills in wellbeing and mind-reset. I did.
If you aim to gain profitable business contacts, there is only one effective solution……fake it!
Seriously, I used this option when I felt less than my usual ‘jolly’ self, and I found that my smile was infectious and the contact’s mood improved. It proved far more likely I would develop a good business relationship with this approach.
As a useful by-product of this, my own mood improved, as I smiled, they smiled as we got to know each other better.
I do not normally advocate this approach, and still say fake nothing but your mood. However, this is one time when you both benefit from the ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ approach. It’s in the power of the smile!