Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What Does it Mean to be Friendly?

Going back to yesterday's post on how foreigners view Americans; I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be "friendly". Some synonyms for this word include neighborly and warmhearted.

I wonder if I am friendly. Or rather perceived to be friendly. I think I am friendly, but I realize that the fact that I tend to be quiet and reserved may make me come across as snooty or closed off. That is not me. That is not my intention. So then I have to change that, but without trying too hard or being fake.

So it is my goal to think of ways to be more neighborly and warmhearted. Simple things like holding a door for someone, taking grocery carts back to the cart return, or even just saying "hello" as I pass by someone is a great way to start. And nurturing the friendships that I have is equally important. I found this prayer from a book on inspirational thoughts that I want to share:

Father, through my face may your beauty shine,
through my voice may your praise be heard,
through my hands may your works be extended,
through my life may your love be over all.
- author not cited

Along with friendliness is good customer service; something that I think is dying out in this country. It will ruin my day if the checker at the grocery store is snarky. I make it a point to ask how they are doing, strike up some conversation and have a positive attitude. If you are a checker and I ask you how you are doing today, honestly I would rather hear you tell me "fine" than listen to you complain about getting up early all while slamming my eggs into a bag. If I ask for "paper" instead of "plastic" please don't act like it is a tremendous hassle for you. And furthermore, if I am having trouble in the UScan because the scanner is not accepting the bar code on my items, please don't berate me in front of everybody. These frustrations stem from real experiences. I think that if a person is paid to provide customer service, a pleasant attitude is part of the job.

As one who loves the Lord I am making it my job to be a light in this world and show friendliness to others. Please let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions on the subject ... I promise I won't be snarky toward you!


PeePaw said...

It is too bad that more people don't look critically at themselves. If they did they would see that there are not so nice people.

I believe in the old saying that you should do unto other as you would have them do unto you. Treat people right and they will treat you right.

And remember, a frown is a smile turned upside down!

Kelly said...

I believe in that old saying too Dad. It is commonly known as the "Golden Rule" or "Ethic of Reciprocity". I think that even if someone isn't friendly to you, if you are friendly to them you can get a good feeling that you rose above and set a good example.

BTW, I am smiling as I write this, does that mean I am frowning upside down?

PeePaw said...

That is an interesting question. After giving it considerable thought, I would say never equate a smile to a frown. Frowns can be linked to smiles because smiles are positive. Frowns are negative.

Oh my! I think my eyes have crossed!!!

Zil said...

Making eye contact and smiling goes a long way. Also, being a good listener because people love to talk about themselves!