Part of your individual success in this world will be your adeptness at navigating through it. As women, this can sometimes be tricky, but refining individual outward expression is imperative for women, especially black women. I have mentioned before the impact negative messages can have in swaying our internal energy away from calm, happy, and comforted, but outside of protecting ourselves in this way, we also benefit from making sure our outward projections match what is truly in our hearts and minds. Having a kind, pleasant demeanor goes way for establishing a positive reputation that others around us can count on.
One great way to convey positivity is to smile. No, you do not have to walk around with a permanent grin on your face (unless you want to, of course) but when greeting others, introducing yourself, or speaking to strangers to ask for directions, you will be received better if you wear a smile. Even when answering the phone, your smile can be heard in your voice. Smiling automatically has a way of elevating our mood, even on bad days.
Another good rule of thumb is to not use words recklessly. Indeed, this one can be difficult. Consider thinking of it this way: institute more pauses in your communication. It’s very easy to pop off when we feel offended. It seems that our culture thrives on creating “pop off” moments for all of us to get fired up on. Our population is more divided than it has been in decades, which means the world really does not need more sensationally negative contributions. When we speak recklessly, we create those.
Add in the ever-present internet, and some of our words and sentiments can be broadcasted quickly to large audiences and immortalized as old posts, Tweets, or captions for others to stumble upon later. Taking a pause before speaking, typing, or texting can allow you to get some distance from what might be bothering you as you formulate a response that is well thought out. Or, perhaps no response needs to be given. That is always an option, too, and silence can be golden.