Social Graces Saturday

Social Graces Saturday – The Power of Hello

A company that I have worked for sent out an email with all these required training’s.  In one of the training’s it actually said to say hello to someone when you meet them in the hallway.  Really?  In this digital age have we forgotten how to be human to each other?  Do we really need a training to tell us to say hello when we pass someone in the hallway or on the street?

Obviously we do.  In this particular company there were several people who would not speak to you even when spoken to.  Now, this is just not my normal way of being.  At the very least I will give you the ole head bob silent hello when I pass by you.  Why?  I don’t know, manners I guess.  It always surprises me though how many people do not and will not acknowledge another person’s presence.

There was one person in particular who just totally ignored my attempts to be pleasant.  When I would pass him in the hall I would either say hello or good morning and, I kid you not, he looked the other way.  There was no way he didn’t hear me speak to him but he refused to engage.  One day he was particularly rude.  I came back to my team and I said “That’s it!  I will never speak to him again!”  Then one day I met him in the hall and I actually nodded before I could stop myself.  Have you ever seen the scene in Steel Magnolias where she says “I saw Drum Eatonton at the Piggly Wiggly and I smiled at the S.O.B. before I could help myself”?  That was me.  I lived that moment.  I thought “darn it you actually nodded at that man.  You treated him like a human being and not a piece of furniture before you could even help yourself”.  My point is being friendly and cordial to people is just the way I was raised.  It baffles me how we can have moved so beyond that as a society.  A society where we have to have a training to tell us to be nice.  I just find that incredibly sad.

In a nearby hospital they have a policy that you must greet every person that you come in contact with within five seconds.  You must actually speak to them.  I think that is genius.  Pathetic, but genius.  Why, because in an environment such as a hospital you have a vast variety of people and socioeconomic groups in one place.  They all have their role to play to make the hospital run efficiently.  This makes everyone, no matter their station in life, treat each other with respect.

You may ask yourself why is this so important that you feel the need to write a post about it?  Well, it’s important because when you don’t engage people when you come across them you discount their existence.  You give off this air that you don’t feel like they matter enough in the world to acknowledge their presence.  Making other people feel like they matter in life is important.  It’s one of the most loving and human things you can do in life.  I’m not saying that you must strike up a conversation with everyone you meet, or that you have to be friends with all these people.  Just treat your fellow humans with respect and dignity and that includes saying hello, or just nodding to them as you pass them.  It says I see you and you are important.

There have been studies done on this very subject, so if you would like to learn more on how saying hello effects your world google “the power of hello”.  Please the next time you are in your workplace or doing errands, and you pass someone please let them know that they matter, that you see them, because everyone deserves that.  Until next time, smile a little, say hello, and as always stay glamorous.

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