Seriously, what’s with the snub? Perhaps we have lost our way or maybe it’s always been this way. I am not sure but one of my mantras is that you don’t have to be close to everybody, but you should be nice to everybody. Even though I see the world this way, plenty of people do not and do not reciprocate. I am sure you have been there too.
Whether it’s at drop off for school or another activity, a dinner party or other social gathering, lots of us have been in the position where people are friendly in one circumstance and then different in another. Why is that? It’s still not obvious to me. I often find myself waving to people who kindly wave back, but are not as congenial in a larger social gathering. Meanwhile, the very same people who snubbed you at one time might be friendly when no one else is around. I have never understood the inconsistency.
Being nice can be misconstrued. Maybe people think there is an ulterior motive. For me, there isn’t. I just feel better when I am kind to others. By being warm, you make others feel good. It might even change their mood at the moment. It certainly alters mine when I smile and have good intentions. And if the circle of kindness expands, it can transform someone’s day, outlook and even life. Everyone wants to be accepted, included and treated well. Little things make a big difference.
My belief is that we are too confined to groups that make us feel safe. If someone is not in a certain group or circle, they are essentially an outsider. It seems much like junior high or high school. I was never like that then and so it continues to be challenging for me now. I always try to be nice to everyone at all times (or at least that is the goal). And when I falter, I always try to make it right.
Our kids face similar issues (another post for another day) and it affects who people become and how they see the world. But this post is not about rearing our kids or trying to make your way into a group, it’s just about showing basic decency, respect and courtesy. By doing so, sometimes you must stand alone (or so it feels), but you have to conduct yourself in a way that makes you feel proud of your actions. In the words of Maya Angelou,“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
And, as I talk to more people, the snub appears to be a common occurrence for many, which is why I am writing to tell you I can relate and want to reinforce that kindness always prevails (even when it may not appear that way). My optimism leads me to believe there is more good than bad in the world and it’s better to be grateful than remorseful. I may not always get the welcoming reception, but let’s also try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
In fact, the snub could be misconstrued. It’s upon each of us to try to be more compassionate and take things less personally. Everyone has lots going on in their lives and on their minds so even though it feels like sometime is giving you the cold shoulder, there could be instances where they did not realize it. They could be shyer than you think, not know what to say, or have some pressing problem or worry on their mind that has nothing to do with you. For me, time is better spent showing love and feeling appreciation for all that I have. Even if the snub was real, it’s here to teach us something—all of us can look inward to see if there was something we did that was off-putting and to figure out where we can improve. Or maybe the snub was there to remind us of who not to be or become. That in and of itself is incredibly worthwhile.
Next time, when you feel a snub or even if you want to snub, think of a hug.
Okay, that might be a little much… but you get the hunch.
In the end, good vibes always create good lives.