At the beginning of each year, we draw up “resolutions”, in our quests to become better people. We decide to drop old habits and acquire new and better ones. Recently, I read a couple of these on social media … I’ll go to the gym five times a week; no more alcohol; no chocolates; I’ll read at least one book a week, etc. It’s great to have these goals but it takes discipline to achieve them.
One resolution I would really wish I could see more is… “I’ll improve my attitude to others in the New Year”. Attitude is everything! Have you ever spotted a well dressed person at the mall, and they’ve caught your attention because you admire what they are wearing or their hair do, and you just want to tell them how great you feel they look? Only to come closer and when you see the look on their faces, your smile literarily freezes. They know you were looking at them because there was an eye contact… in fact, they saw the smile and admiration on your face… but they chose to look away… without even smiling back (ouch)… and you think yourself… I just wanted to give an honest compliment… That’s all! Well, THIS person is US most of the time.
Have you ever walked through a door, you know there’s someone (whom you do know) behind you, and being (oh well) the nice individual you are (wink), you hold the door for the next person; but when they come closer, it seems you are the only one who has got some etiquette lessons? The person just fails to acknowledge with even a smile, not to talk of saying “thank you”! They are even looking away… almost like they do not notice you were even there, holding the door for them! Well, WE are THAT person a lot of times.
The other day, I was in an elevator with eight other people in an office building in the heart of Victoria Island during official working hours and suddenly we heard “YOU ARE AN IDIOT, I NEED MY MONEY BEFORE TOMORROW!” I turned to look at the man speaking and a very loud telephone call, riddled with abusive words continued. I could read other people’s minds by the perplexed look on their faces. This gentleman did not care that he was in a public place with other strangers, he just continued with his very loud phone call.
This is not a rare occurrence as people often seem to ignore basic respect markers such as please, excuse me, sorry, thank you, you’re welcome, etc.
The society has misled many young people to believing that it’s not fashionable to give a warm smile to a stranger who passes by you at the mall, or saying “please excuse me” or “I am sorry” belittles you or gives you away as maybe “not too classy” or “not too tough”. I personally think seeing a smile and a positive aura around a person portrays that individual as very confident.
A smile and an easy attitude, even on a bad day, will help lift your spirit and that of others around you. Yes, you can still define your boundaries, even when giving a warm smile. We all pass through different situations everyday but you must understand that it’s not the next person’s fault; hence there’s no need to allow it reflect in your countenance.
It’s important to show consideration for others always by using the simple respect markers in appropriate circumstances and keeping the conversations and telephone calls low or excusing oneself entirely in public. Remember, not everyone who tells you “nice shoes” wants something from you – especially when considering the context and environment you are in. You can just smile and say a warm “Thank you” and continue with your business.
It’s true that we live in a changing world and we do not know whom the next person is, but hey, a good attitude won’t hurt.
As the New Year lurks, determining to wear a positive outlook in our daily dealings with others will save us stress, build better relationships and maybe, who knows, even open some new doors! Let’s keep our smiles up… It’ll do more good than harm!!!
WISHING YOU A HAPPY 2016!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Liv Friis-larsen