#3 Your smile is more powerful than you think.
I was walking in the Ukraine through a town looking for somewhere to fill my belly. It was after dark so I was gingerly picking through the cracks and the rubbish on the streets. Suddenly a man jumped from behind a bus shelter and put a gun against my head. The jolt stops me in my tracks and it takes me a split second to work out what is going on.
The guy is shouting in Russian in a super aggressive way, my glasses took a spattering of worked up phlem as his worked up words left his mouth. A few more seconds, that feel like days, pass and I’m able to take in the fact his in camo uniform and the gun looks like an AK47, but this knowledge is based purely from movies and the AK47 being the only big gun I know.
Even to this day, talking about this incident, I can feel the cold metal against my forehead. It’s as if it’s left it’s negative energy there and when I think about it it burns much like Harry Potters scar when You Know Who is around.
The owner of the gun was clearly not very happy. His body language was hyped up aggressive. The gun didn’t move from my head.
90% of my thoughts were preoccupied with the thought I was going to be killed and 10% was wondering whether I’d see my mum again (I’m a total mummy’s boy) but I found that chink of rainbow in the situation and realised that, if I survived (a big IF), I was going to have an awesome blog post from this.
With that thought the lunatic in me smiled. An honest smile.
With my smile the Russian dropped his weapon to his side. Still looking me in the eye he reached in his pocket and withdrew a bottle of vodka and a shot class. Beckoning me to sit he poured me shot a shot of vodka. He gestured for me to drink. I drank – what else would you do – he had a gun. Then he took a shot from the same glass. By this time he’d sat next to me. Shot after shot followed until I passed out.
I could have had an armed guard round the corner or mace in my pocket but nothing was as disarming and effective as my Smile.
Just like happiness smiles are contagious. Try putting one on your face if you’re in a grey setting (like the tube) and watch it spread to others. Are you infected with positivity?
If you’re in a tough meeting with your boss or having issues with a friend and feel the tension growing, try smiling and see if you can take control and deescalate the situation – you might just end up drinking vodka arm in arm together until you pass out.