Inspirational Monday/The Weekly Habit: Be a Little Nicer
A blogumn by Kalimba Bennett
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Usually I bring you The Weekly Habit on Mondays, but I think Kalimba's Inspirational Monday better serves that purpose this week. Enjoy!]
What happened to being nice for no good reason? Why is it so hard to be friendly? Why does it seem like such an effort for some people? Well, the simplest theory I’ve come up with is that as we get older we have to have more responsibilities. As we gain responsibility, we can start to lose our feeling of freedom, our sense of play. Without that sense of play, we can forget or lose interest in really connecting with the people in our daily lives.
This week I want to challenge you to turn outward and play a little by connecting with your fellow human beings every day. Take five minutes out of the day to complete these daily assignments:
Monday: Ask someone you work with how their weekend was. When you ask, do it when you have a moment to hear the real answer, look the person in the eye, and wait for the answer. Ask another question if you get canned answer. They say “Great”, you say “Really? What did you do that was great?” Again, look the person in the eye and wait for the answer.
Tuesday: Say hello to a stranger on the street. It happens all the time – we make eye contact with someone on the street, in an elevator, standing in line and we look away without acknowledging each other. Next time this happens smile at the person you’ve just connected with and say “Hello.”
Wednesday: Tell a customer service person that you appreciated their help. We run into people helping us “get our lives done” all day long. Next time someone helps you look them in the eye and say “Thank you” or even “You just made my day so much easier. You’re great.” Everyone wants to know that their work made a difference for someone else.
Thursday: Give at least one person you see every day (CANNOT BE A FAMILY MEMBER) a random compliment. It’s the fastest and easiest way to make someone feel good. Let your boss know why you like working for him/her, compliment your neighbor’s yard, tell you door man he’s got a great smile. Remember to make eye contact so that the person can really feel the energy behind what you are sharing.
Friday: Write a note of gratitude to someone you love. The gift of a handwritten note is priceless and highly underestimated it’s potency. Write a thoughtful three sentence love note to your significant other and they just might be putty in your hand. Send a random thank you card to your mom, for being a great mom, and you’ll make her week. Figure out a way to surprise someone with your gratitude. Make it short or long, but make it specific and sincere. Watch out for the tidal wave of love that I know is coming right back at you.
Other random acts of “friendly” to add to the mix:
1. Say hello and goodbye with a hug, add the word BECAUSE to this phrase “It was nice to meet you because…”
2. Give a compliment to a stranger.
3. Ask someone you don’t know that well a random silly question “Did you ever have an imaginary friend as a kid?” or
4. Invite a co-worker you’ve never had a real conversation with to have lunch.
As you toss your blend of “friendly” into the air this week let me know how it all lands. I think all kinds of goodness is waiting for you with these assignments and I look forward to hearing about your experiences here.
Bless your bones,