Welcome and happy Monday everyone! As I shared in this post last week, I’m finally getting back into the swing of things as it pertains to blogging more consistently (I’ll be posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday going forward working towards posting on a daily basis eventually in the coming weeks), so I wanted to kick this week off with a new Manners Monday post!
One of the qualities I most admire about some of my closest friends, is their ability to see the best in others. Let’s face it, none of us are perfect and we all have shortcomings that we are in the process of working on to become a better person; whether it’s becoming more patient, being a more compassionate person, showing up on time, keeping our word or learning to use a quieter tone of voice are just a few examples. These areas we’re working on can serve as a reminder to others that we’re all human and it’s okay to be imperfect. To truly love and appreciate others, we need to leave all judgement at the door.
I find there are two types of people in life: those who immediately focus on someone’s strengths and those who zero in on their shortcomings. It doesn’t take much to notice the latter, but to look beyond and really see the heart, it speaks volumes about their character. I don’t know about you but I like to spend time with those who make me feel at ease and comfortable vs. walking on eggshells afraid to make a misstep. Not only is acknowledging strengths in others a form of kindness but it also a necessary component of good manners. You see, no matter what we say, do or non-verbally convey, good manners will always make others feel confident and able to be themselves in our presence. Obviously, someone else’s own insecurities are not are responsibility, but welcoming them into a space is. Also, it must be said that there are certain patterns that people will reveal to us repeatedly over time that we of course must pay attention to in order to decide if someone is a fit for our life, business, etc.
While I’ve always enjoyed paying genuine compliments to others, there was a time in my younger years when I used to be more critical-of both myself and others. Gosh, before becoming a mother myself, I would leave someone’s home (who has children) after a gathering a bit shocked at the level of chaos and mess that existed when I arrived, wondering if it was lack of attention to detail or if kiddos really just take over to that degree. Of course, now that I am a mother, while I pride myself in caring for my home the best I can, I will attest to the fact that toddlers make a lot of mess and babies come with a lot of ‘stuff’ and tend to produce a ton of laundry. Once my daughter began walking after her first birthday, I had to just resign to the fact that things would never be the same, they’d be out of place and probably often. Doing my best had to be enough, even if that meant the house wouldn’t always look pristine. Allowing myself that grace has afforded me a new found respect for other parents and has also allowed me to extend that same grace to others knowing that we’re all fighting that same battle. In fact, becoming a mother has changed the way I view so many things and has made me a more helpful, compassionate and understanding person in general.
A classy woman looks for ways to compliment others, something good can always be found from the way someone decorates their home to the way they lovingly interact with their children. I have found that when we draw our energies to those positive attributes, that they are the ones that stand out in our heart and mind, and may possibly even be of value to us in the future. If we can ignore all the toys strewn about in a home but see the beautiful photographs a mother has taken and displayed of her children, perhaps she’s a wonderful go-to when it comes to hiring someone for family or business-related photography in the future. The woman in your office who is habitually late but also happens to be impeccably dressed can become a source of inspiration. Although you wouldn’t want to emulate her tardiness, she could be a great resource too as it pertains to style advice. Everyone has unique gifts, talents and special abilities that we may not share in common, we need others and others need us. However, if we spend all of our time critiquing, we will end up alienating people.
One way to build trust in others and raise their confidence in an authentic way is to magnify their strengths. I find people are more apt to do this as it pertains to physical appearance (and that’s awesome), but we need to dig deeper and really remind others who they are beneath their chosen hairstyle, makeup application or perfect selection of accessories for an outfit. I admire many things in others and I really try to make an effort to vocalize them whether it’s telling them how I think they make an incredible pecan pie or letting them know I feel they have a a beautiful way with their spouse. Then still, it may be my sheer amazement of how certain individuals have the capacity to get so much accomplished in a week and still make time for family and hobbies. It’s a great way to ask questions and pick someone’s brain for ideas too.
In the workplace, oftentimes we may be compensated accordingly for our time and effort, and may even receive a little pat on the back here and there, but there are many who thrive on recognition, in fact it keeps them going and encourages them to work harder to achieve more. I know this, because I’m one of those people! I have found that this is sorely lacking within many companies and it eventually leads to an employee feeling undervalued, under appreciated and can cause them to look elsewhere for employment, a new environment where they will be recognized for their contribution within their team as well as individual achievements. This is important to consider for those who run a business or are in management positions within a company. As wives and mothers, we are essentially the CEO of our own family and household, so this is an area to be mindful of to continue to build up the very people we love the most. It’s easy to notice the things that irritate us especially when it comes to those who live in our home (I find this to be especially with my own spouse), we have to intentionally look for the good and remind people of who they are because they are not their imperfections. The most powerful thing we can do for our children is praise them often, reminding them of their strengths which will help propel them forward in confidence, acceptance and unconditional love.
By changing our outlook and focusing on the positive in others, we can’t help but create a greater level of joy and positive energy within our own lives in the process! When we’re kind to others, we tend to be kinder to ourselves as well.
Thanks for reading!