The Kindness of Strangers

Opportunities to practice otheresteem abound! It’s not just your immediate circle that benefits from your acceptance, appreciation, positive expectations or gratitude, even people you encounter casually can help you practice and give immediate feedback with their reactions to you.

In the book I mention looking into people’s eyes (the waitress serving you, the valet parking guy, the teller at the bank, fellow shoppers…) and asking their names as ways of accepting, considering and paying more attention to people. Some folks do this consistently and create an environment where people tend to feel comfortable. Be liberal with the smile, curious in conversation and open to input from people that seem interesting to you.

Actively appreciating the kindness behind services rendered to you is a wonderful way to make someone’s day AND energize yours! Make it a point to express appreciation at least once every given ammount of time. At first you can set a timer to remind you (a nudge that says “Quick! Appreciate someone!” on your phone or laptop will do. It’s fun to “have to” do it and always find someone worthy.

We all rely on the “kindness of strangers” much more than we care to admit. It won’t hurt to make sure we tell them and it will work wonders for your otheresteem practices. So thanks for reading this and pondering it’s impact in your life. Let me know if you make the effort and change something, as well as how it is working out for you.

I always rely on the comments of readers… just know that you really do make my day when you add your perspective to this blog :)


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Being the Connector

One way you can show your esteem for others is by introducing them to  people they might find interesting or valuable. Make it a point to go out of your way to do that at least once a week. I love to have dinner parties where the people I invite do not know each other but I know they have common interests or might otherwise enjoy each other’s company.

Its good business too to get your contacts together if they can mutually benefit from the interaction. Don’t think about what you will gain from this, think of it as an exercise in building your otheresteem.  Invest some of your time and energy!  People will appreciate the thoughtfulness and you will create a relationship in which being of service to each other is part of the equation.  Don’t keep score, just keep aware of how the practice impacts you and your work relations.

Last year, we introduced two friends from different circles at my husband’s birthday party. They got along immediately and talked all day. This year, one is helping the other’s son get going in a difficult industry. Knowing that just makes me smile! Being useful to the people you value will create great interactions for you and them! Pay it forward that way and watch what happens.

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