Welcome and happy Monday everyone! As I shared in this post last week, I'm finally getting back into the swing of things as it pertains to blogging more consistently (I'll be posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday going forward working towards posting on a daily basis eventually in the coming weeks), so I wanted to kick this week off with a new Manners Monday post!
One of the qualities I most admire about some of my closest friends, is their ability to see the best in others. Let's face it, none of us are perfect and we all have shortcomings that we are in the process of working on to become a better person; whether it's becoming more patient, being a more compassionate person, showing up on time, keeping our word or learning to use a quieter tone of voice are just a few examples. These areas we're working on can serve as a reminder to others that we're all human and it's okay to be imperfect. To truly love and appreciate others, we need to leave all judgement at the door.
I find there are two types of people in life: those who immediately focus on someone's strengths and those who zero in on their shortcomings. It doesn't take much to notice the latter, but to look beyond and really see the heart, it speaks volumes about their character. I don't know about you but I like to spend time with those who make me feel at ease and comfortable vs. walking on eggshells afraid to make a misstep. Not only is acknowledging strengths in others a form of kindness but it also a necessary component of good manners. You see, no matter what we say, do or non-verbally convey, good manners will always make others feel confident and able to be themselves in our presence. Obviously, someone else's own insecurities are not are responsibility, but welcoming them into a space is. Also, it must be said that there are certain patterns that people will reveal to us repeatedly over time that we of course must pay attention to in order to decide if someone is a fit for our life, business, etc.
While I've always enjoyed paying genuine compliments to others, there was a time in my younger years when I used to be more critical-of both myself and others. Gosh, before becoming a mother myself, I would leave someone's home (who has children) after a gathering a bit shocked at the level of chaos and mess that existed when I arrived, wondering if it was lack of attention to detail or if kiddos really just take over to that degree. Of course, now that I am a mother, while I pride myself in caring for my home the best I can, I will attest to the fact that toddlers make a lot of mess and babies come with a lot of 'stuff' and tend to produce a ton of laundry. Once my daughter began walking after her first birthday, I had to just resign to the fact that things would never be the same, they'd be out of place and probably often. Doing my best had to be enough, even if that meant the house wouldn't always look pristine. Allowing myself that grace has afforded me a new found respect for other parents and has also allowed me to extend that same grace to others knowing that we're all fighting that same battle. In fact, becoming a mother has changed the way I view so many things and has made me a more helpful, compassionate and understanding person in general.
One way to build trust in others and raise their confidence in an authentic way is to magnify their strengths. I find people are more apt to do this as it pertains to physical appearance (and that's awesome), but we need to dig deeper and really remind others who they are beneath their chosen hairstyle, makeup application or perfect selection of accessories for an outfit. I admire many things in others and I really try to make an effort to vocalize them whether it's telling them how I think they make an incredible pecan pie or letting them know I feel they have a a beautiful way with their spouse. Then still, it may be my sheer amazement of how certain individuals have the capacity to get so much accomplished in a week and still make time for family and hobbies. It's a great way to ask questions and pick someone's brain for ideas too.
By changing our outlook and focusing on the positive in others, we can't help but create a greater level of joy and positive energy within our own lives in the process! When we're kind to others, we tend to be kinder to ourselves as well.
Thanks for reading!