Being More Likeable in 2021
One of my favorite bloggers (Sean Dietrich, a.k.a. Sean of the South) was in Alexandria, Virginia a few months after the pandemic of 2020 began, and here's what he observed:
The people here are nice. And I really needed to be around nice people today. We’ve been traveling a lot lately and I’ve been running into my fair share of not-so-nice people.
Believe me, I’m not pointing fingers here. I know this year hasn’t been the best ever. But humans are changing. Society is changing, too. You don’t get many people holding doors for strangers. Fewer greet you with smiles or hellos.
Sometimes I wonder if modern folks haven’t forgotten what it means to be courteous. Sometimes I worry I’ll forget how.
He went on to write: People here are social distancing and wearing paper masks, but nobody seems glum about it. Life in this town has obviously been altered by the coronavirus, but it hasn’t been ruined. And I find this remarkable. Especially in today’s spite-happy world.
His words made me stop and think. Just because we've had a rough nine months, does that give us an excuse to abandon kindness and forsake attempts to be likeable? Surely not. Then, as if on cue, I saw an article in Southern Living Magazine called "11 Habits of Extremely Likeable People." Wouldn't you agree that as followers of Christ and children of Almighty God we have every reason to be as likeable as possible? And doesn't it stand to reason that we can attract more people to the Gospel and a desire to know more about Jesus if we are positive reflections of His teachings and example?
The 11 habits suggested by Melissa Locker in her story are these:
1) THEY GREET THE WORLD WITH A SMILE ON THEIR FACE. Ms. Locker's article was written in September of 2018, a full year and a half before we were all forced to cover "the smile" portion of our faces with masks. I'm afraid because we think no one can see our smiles we've gotten out of the habit of smiling. For that matter, we don't even make eye contact as often as before. Maybe in 2021, we can go back to smiling. Even if no one else can see it, WE know we're smiling, and genuine smiles show up in the eyes, too.
2) THEY ASK QUESTIONS. I believe my children will testify that I have a Ph.D. in asking questions, thus causing me to acquire the nickname of Queen of Questions. I just believe that people love it when they are asked questions about their lives, opinions, plans, etc. and want an opportunity to share their stories. Try it. You'll be surprised at what you'll learn.
3) THEY ARE CONSISTENT.
4) THEY REMEMBER NAMES AND USE THEM.
5) THEY PUT THE PHONE AWAY.
6) THEY KEEP AN OPEN MIND AND DON'T PASS JUDGMENT.
7) THEY ARE AUTHENTIC.
8) THEY ARE KIND AND GENEROUS.
9) THEY'RE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR MISTAKES.
10) THEY SEND THANK YOU NOTES. My husband and I loved the notes that our daughter Julie and her children sent us after Christmas. I had to chuckle when I saw Bethany's note complete with several tubes of lipstick. Apparently, that's what she thinks of when I come to her mind. :)
The title says there are 11 habits, but for some reason, the article only mentions 10. That's not important. My point for today is that I believe this article points out traits that are important for Jesus' followers to reveal to the outside world. Will you join me in resolving to be more likeable in 2021?
1 Peter 3:8-12 -- "To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, loving, compassionate, and humble; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you would inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. 11 He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against evildoers.”
Galatians 5:22-23 -- "22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
Ephesians 4:32 -- "Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
Proverbs 15:13 -- "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face"