One of the ways I connect with others is to lift my head up and notice people. Although this is more natural for some than others-make eye contact, give a sincere smile and greet people. The first time I realized how positive this social behavior could be was in high school. I remember smiling and saying hello to a quiet, seemingly shy girl who many tended to ignore. She seemed shocked and asked me if I was talking to her and I said yes. This huge grin appeared on her face and each time I would see her in the hall after that day she would smile at me and initiate a hello. It made me feel so good. Smile and greet the people you meet.
When my son was a highschooler and we were out running errands one evening, he saw a young man he knew walking along the side of the dark road with a gas can. He asked me to pull over and pick him up since it looked like he had run out of gas. The boy hopped into the back seat and told my son he was surprised he remembered him. My son assured him he did and the young man told him when I first moved here in elementary school, you were one of the only boys in our class who talked to me. My son realized that he had made a real difference for the “new kid in class”.
Make connections with others:
- smile at people you meet on the street
- smile and greet family members (we sometimes forget to start at home)
- smile at your coworkers (this can support strong work relationships)
- smile and look up at others in the community (it can help you to remember their faces)
- smile and greet people on an elevator (even if they are looking down at their smartphone)
A sincere smile and greeting can be very powerful and could transform a person’s day. It benefits the giver as well!