My boyfriend talks to everyone.
I’ll never forget walking with him through a tightly packed Dollar Tree store one night, hearing him behind me greet everyone who passed us with a “Hey there, how’s it goin?” in his Southern accent. At first I thought he was running into people he knew, because that happens a lot. But after a few more dates out on the town, I realized pretty soon that he’ll give a friendly nod to just about anyone who glances his way.
I’m the opposite. I’m a pretty nice person, but on more than one occasion, I’ve stood in an elevator and not talked to anyone. I definitely don’t smile at strangers. I come from further north where these attempts at courtesy are generally met with a frown.
The art of being friendly… have we lost it?
We are nearly 7 billion people bumping around on the same planet. Yet many will admit that they feel lonely and isolated. What’s the cure? Where’s the remedy? The issue is complex, but a small piece of the solution lies in the simplicity of being friendly. Here are a few easy starters:
Hold open doors. Whether you’re a woman or a man, it’s often appreciated and always polite.
Speak to people. Say good morning to the person in line with you at Starbucks. What’s the harm?
Address waiters/servers/baristas by name. They have a nametag for a reason. Instead of barking your order to the server, look him or her in the eyes and greet them like you would another human being.
Remember the key phrases of courtesy. “Pardon me.” “Thank you.” “You’re welcome.” “It’s my pleasure.”
Wouldn’t the world be a sweeter place if we took the time to recognize that we’re all in this together and everyone just needs a little bit of kindness?