Consider that you carry an invisible and empty basket with you. When any positive interaction happens between you and another person it is like they are putting a beautiful egg in your basket. When you respond positively back it is like you are putting one in theirs. Where do these eggs come from? They are in a pouch that you carry on your side, also invisible, of course.
If you go into these types of situations with your empty basket and expect to leave with it still empty, then any eggs that end up in your basket will be a bonus, as will any that you give out.
This analogy came to me after a particularly difficult interaction in which I felt that I had failed. I had gone into the less than friendly situation determined to look for and see positive, but I was not successful. What I saw instead was negative, and it drained my energy for some time afterward in mulling it over. Had I envisioned every interaction with the above analogy in mind, I would have left that situation feeling good about myself and others.
Next time I am faced with such a situation, I will indeed take my invisible basket with me and expect to leave with it empty. Any positive eggs that come my way will be considered as a treasure, and I will seek to also give those treasured eggs to others as well.
This analogy seems much more appropriate for another holiday coming up next spring, but I felt I should share it now. Perhaps someone out there has some holiday interactions coming up that this could help with.
May we all seek to see the positive around us as we go into this holiday season:)