Absentminded courtesy is commonplace in our society. How many times have you done this:
Walking down the stairs at work, you see a colleague coming up the opposite direction, and you say, “Hey, how are you?” without stopping to hear his/her response.
It was your way of saying “Hello” right? Neither of you probably bothered to give or hear an answer because it was not expected. There’s nothing wrong with this practice, but why not change it up? Here’s a good challenge:
Just for one day, follow-up your “How are you’s” with another question. It could be, “Is it supposed to rain today?” or “Is your work day going quickly?” or, it could be, “Wow, you seem rushed. Anything I could do to help?” It could also be, “Did you cut your hair? You look different.” Anything will do. What it tells the person opposite you is: someone cares. You cared enough to connect with him/her past the typical “Hello’s” and “How are you’s” that are usually met with absent-minded (or inaccurate) responses. And that makes you pretty darn terrific!
Bonus: you will be amazed at the exciting new things you learn or the way it will make you feel. I recommend taking on this challenge when you don’t have a crazy schedule. You might find yourself in some lively, unexpected conversations that slow you down (worthwhile I promise)!
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