We started talking in the previous blog about those little things that you can do daily . . . but, more importantly . . . INTENTIONALLY. Things that you, of course, do, as do most people. But . . . and this is the difference . . . you've been mostly doing them when you feel like it.
You do them when they are an automatic response to someone. Instead, what I am asking you to do, is to look for opportunities to do them intentionally, at times and in places, where it is not expected — times when these simple acts of kindness can make a huge difference for another person.
Show interest. Ask people about their work, their car, their home, their children or grandchildren, pets, vacations, trips.
Note: “When time allows” is an important qualifier here. Asking such questions, and then abruptly leaving, can cancel everything gained. When you ask the question, you must allow the time for them to answer. Attentive listening is vital. Showing interest is a powerful form of friendliness.
Smile generously. Our smile is always available. Remember to turn it on.
Anyone, regardless of age, or level of intelligence, can lift another’s spirits with a smile. Not only is that person lifted — the one who is doing the smiling is, too. Putting on a smile makes the other person feel better. Smiling even raises our immunity level! Frowns generate bad chemicals — smiles produce beneficial chemicals.
Notice and mention feelings. One goal of friendliness is to lift another’s spirits. It is comforting and heartwarming when someone notices and acknowledges feelings.
We heal someone more that way than when we try to change their sorrow, their fear or theri anxiety by offering advice that we think will help. For example, when noticing a tear in someone’s eye, we can say, “You’re feeling sad …” That is actually more heart-warming than “Cheer up”! Hurt feelings are healed by naming them.
Sympathetic words are more helpful than reminding people verbally that Jesus cares. Caring people who show understanding effectively communicate Jesus’ love without having to verbalize it.
Excerpts from the 'Thirteen Secret Behaviors' section of Jim Kok's book, Transform Belief Into Behavior. Available here from Amazon.
These ‘Secret Behaviors’ are not truly secret—but they are far too often overlooked. The humble effectiveness of being friendly cannot be over-emphasized. People all around us are hungry for a touch of care, concern, love, even simple acknowledgement.
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