Like my dog, I love to watch people. It used to be that if you sat in the center of any mall in the world you could watch people doing fascinating things. You could see families having fun, children playing and running away from frazzled mothers, senior citizens “mall walking” or individuals hurrying through trying to get something accomplished in a short time. You would hear fascinating conversations, or bits of conversations, listen to old people tell stories and watch people just living life.
I was saddened to note recently, that wherever you sit these days what you end up seeing are a lot of people looking down and studying their smartphone screens, interacting with anyone but the people they are standing right beside. As if the people “out there” in the online world somehow demand more of our immediate attention than the “real” people we can touch and feel. Children can be screaming, wives nagging, husbands ranting and for the most part, everyone is someplace else.
Since I often talk to people about how they can improve the way they feel about themselves, how they can make themselves feel more confident, get more out of life in general and reach their goals, it seems to me that there are some simple things we are all missing when we are wrapped up in those tiny screens.
If you would like to feel better right now here are a few things you can do every day that will make your date much better.
1. Look up and smile at someone you don’t know. Have you ever noticed how people seem surprised when you look them in the eye and just smile? No matter how bad your day is going, having someone smile at you makes it better, makes you feel like someone notices you. Be the one that notices someone and smiles, and you will feel great too because smiling just makes you feel happier.
2. Look up and compliment someone you don’t know. A little harder I know, but this one makes you feel great. When we give a compliment to someone we don’t know it makes us take a look at them and think about what we will say to them. Because people are so rarely noticing wait staff unless they mess up, it is fun to look at them and tell say something nice. The response is genuine appreciation, and who doesn’t like to be appreciated. Start with whoever serves you your Starbucks in the morning, you see them all the time and it should be easy.
3. Look up and do one nice thing for someone you don’t know. I am always amazed at the number of people who just watch people struggle. If you see someone carrying too many items, or lifting something heavy give them a hand. Even just being nice enough to open a door for someone can make their day and will make you feel like are a nice person.
We spend so much time each day looking at ourselves; checking our Facebook page, tweeting our feelings or opinions, posting our pictures, taking selfies, that it becomes so easy to stop looking at those around us. We become isolated and we don’t even realize it. Soon we can be in a room full of people and be completely alone because we are no longer connecting with the real people in our lives and we begin to feel sad. So start smiling and make someone else’s day and soon you are going to feel pretty good about yourself.