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A Proper “Hi!”

We were walking in a crowd the other day and saw the cutest little curly-haired blond girl, being carried by her daddy.

Let me tell you… this child had everyone behind her smiling big grins. Do you know why? She was saying “Hi” and waving to everyone.

This girl knew how to say a proper “Hi!” She made eye contact with each person, smiled, waved, and then said “Hi!”
My guess would be that this was a new achievement, and she was practicing what she had been taught. She was receiving such positive feedback that she continued with her friendly, personal greetings. Not once did I see her make a blanket greeting to the general public. She continued to make individual eye contact with each person she said hello to. She has learned the value of making every person feel important. Hopefully, no one will squash her spirit and she will grow up to be a successful adult.

We, as adults, could learn a lot from this cutie pie. How many times do we walk in a crowd, looking down, to avoid eye contact? This child had not learned that “crowd behavior”, and look at the response she was getting. Everyone was smiling and saying “hi” back to her!

What would happen if we took a tip from Burl Ives…
Have a holly jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street,
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet.

I believe if we follow this girl’s example, we would discover we had much the same response as she had.

Let’s try it… just as an experiment, until the end of the year!
As you walk past someone, look them in the eye, smile (maybe you don’t need to wave – grin), and say “Hi!” Be genuine. People can tell if you’re faking your greeting. Keep a mental count of how many people smile and/or say “Hi” back. I think more people will respond positively than will ignore you. Who knows, you may discover this experiment makes you smile, too. You may even want to make it a regular practice.

Go ahead, give it a try. I’d be interested to hear how it goes!

*Pam Horton is a certified Stress Management coach in the Raleigh area.*

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