In a busy world, how often do you take a few seconds out of your day to make other people’s day better?
One of the things I noticed when I started building my self-esteem and better at connecting with others, was that people around me started calling me a “gentleman”.
At first, I kind of objected to it. The word brought up images of stuffy or overly proper men who did nothing but try to impress through kindness. And I wanted to be an exciting young guy with a bit of an edge (my young ego was very much in play at the time).
After all, I had been working hard to get rid of my “nice guy” habits that made me do nothing but try to please others up until that point.
But then a friend of mine explained it to me.
“No,” she said after I made this comment, “the reason people call you that is because you do the little things. Everyone can hold a door for someone, but when you do it you smile and wish them a good day. Unlike most guys, you compliment your male friends rather than compete with them. When you say thank you, you look me in the eyes. When you see something out of the ordinary, you ask if everything is ok.”
It suddenly started to make sense. I’ve always cared about other people, and even when I was at my most shy and timid, I tried doing nice things like holding the door open for strangers. But I would do it half-turned away from them. I’d be looking down. I’d not answer their “thank you”s.
Now that I had higher self-esteem and was more comfortable in my own skin, however, I did what I could to also connect with people in those moments.
“The little things” include basically anything that costs us only a few seconds of our time – but that might be a nice thing to do for others. And when you make a genuine effort to give those people a moment of connection – you stand out.
And not only do you stand out to others, but you add another cornerstone to your self-esteem.
You start seeing yourself more as someone who contributes positively to the social landscape around you. You start recognizing how well you can connect with others – even if just for a moment.
So please join me in doing the little things in a more connected way. Lift your eyes up from the ground when you move around in the world, and look for opportunities to do the little things for a stranger.
And when you do, look them in the eyes and give them a smile.
You’ll soon truly start to feel why this is a habit we should all practice.
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