As you get older, do you also find that there are some things you realize you appreciate about people, that you hadn’t really considered before?
Take saying ‘hi’ for example. You are walking around, maybe going for a walk along the street, or maybe you are in a shopping area and people are weaving in and around to the various shops. Obviously it’s a pretty general courtesy to say hello or good morning – a simple greeting.
And I think now, I tend to notice more, when people do it, and I notice when they don’t. Even a smile goes a long way. Then I also notice and reflect about myself that I say hi more readily than I smile. I have to work on that. And when I notice that people don’t smile or say hello, and that the lack of either stands out, it just affirms to me that I would rather be that person that at least smiles or says hello, than nothing at all. It is a little thing but it goes a long way.
After some reflection, it is impactful for me because you remember and notice when someone acknowledges you. There was a time when I was so shy, I wouldn’t say hi to people. I realized more recently that the feeling came from a place of self doubt. The thinking that ‘people’ wouldn’t want or expect me to say hi to them. Who was I that it would matter if I said hello? No one would notice if I didn’t, and they wouldn’t appreciate it if I did. Or rather, they would be indifferent if I did.
I have come to learn, through life, that I can ‘take up space’ (in even the most subtle way) and be true to the kind of person that I want to be. I can say hi to people. Even if they look at me like they are caught off guard, I would rather be the person that says ‘hi.’ I have not regretted when I have smiled or said hi, but I have regretted when I have not.