I don’t like talking. Period. I typically keep my head down, literally and figuratively, when someone strikes up a conversation.
But as I was just walking around my neighborhood, a really nice woman hailed me from her front lawn. She struck up a conversation. And I was stuck.
I don’t even know what I said to her; it was all a blur.
All I can say was that it was a very pleasant conversation, and she was an extremely nice lady. I almost didn’t want to keep walking; she just had that air that she was someone I wanted to talk to.
That was probably my first conversation with a stranger since quarantine started.
And I needed it. And she probably needed it.
So, during this difficult time, remember that people need to feel less lonely. Even for a minute. So, even if you are a hardcore introvert like me, just try to be brave and say hello. Everyone’s isolated, but they don’t need to feel that way.
This is your friendly reminder…to be friendly.
Yes, everyone out there is fighting a hard battle, and blah blah blah. But that’s not the most important reason to be nice to other people. Actually, why do you need a reason? This should be your default mode.
And you can come and tell me that you had a hard day, and life isn’t going the way you expect it to, and it was one time, but I’m going to reply: you had a choice. You always have a choice.
And don’t misunderstand me. When I say nice, I’m not referring to a doormat. I’m saying kind, generous, and friendly. Even when it’s hard to. Even when you’d rather not. Even when it’s not important.
Be a friend as often as possible. Because we all depend on each other.
Like many people, I work in an office. I’m basically on email at all times of the day: writing, drafting, deleting, filing, rereading.
And a lot of my emails start the same way: “hello, this is a friendly reminder to…”
Because everyone needs to be reminded of things sometimes. Because even though most things are automated, it doesn’t take away the fact that we’re human. And because it doesn’t mean we don’t have to be friendly about our little nudges and follow ups.
So, I figured that maybe we could all use a few friendly reminders. Not only on emails but on life.
Here’s my favorites:
- Friendly reminder that doing poorly at something does not mean you will fail at it permanently.
- Friendly reminder that being overwhelmed is a choice you make.
- Friendly reminder that sometimes a bath or a soft blanket is exactly what you need to recover from a long day.
- Friendly reminder that people’s opinions of you don’t define who you are.
- Friendly reminder that the stars are there, even if it’s too cloudy to see them.
- Friendly reminder that time may be the best distance between you and something you need to forget.
- Friendly reminder that it’s not always your fault.
- Friendly reminder that you’ve made at least one person’s day once in your life.
- Friendly reminder that the internet has a plenty of cute animal videos to go around.
- Friendly reminder that the world needs your story, however you want to tell it.
- Friendly reminder that the universe is rooting for you.
I hope these reminders are friendly enough. And I hope you have a friend when you need one. (I’m always here if you don’t.)