catching bees with honey

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I am in my natural state a grumpy pessimist.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m northern (US) and come from a state where it’s residents are affectionately *cough* called Massholes but being nice to strangers doesn’t come naturally. I just tend to keep my head down and get on with my business. Now I don’t know if it’s because I’ve moved away from all things familiar or I’m getting old but kindness is becoming very important to me. I think it’s an age thing. There is soo much ugly in the world that I don’t want to be putting any more of it out there. This has been causing me to behave in very un-masshole ways!  I smile at strangers, while waiting for Squidge to get out of school I chat w/ anyone and everyone.  I crack jokes w/ the bank teller and wish everyone a good day.  The other day I almost signed off an email with ‘have a fantastic day!!’  *shudder* I’m glad I caught myself before I hit send. Even in my mellowing aged state I don’t think I want to go there!!

The other day I was chatting with Squidge and we were discussing being nice to people and how important it is to be kind to others. I want her to be comfortable being nice.  I don’t want her to have to make a conscious decision to be nice. It should be her natural state of being.

We have an Indian restaurant not too far from us, we don’t go there a lot, maybe once a month.  I’m always super friendly, I make eye contact and smile. Nothing too strange but sooo outside my comfort zone! The funny thing is I love the response I get from people!  The folks at the Indian restaurant are soo nice and remember that I like 1/2 portions and that Squidge likes to eat from a bowl and not a plate. We went there for NYE and I was given a little gift, a mug. Now I don’t know for sure but I can almost guarantee that not everyone was given a mug.  I’m not being nice to get things obviously but I do love disarming people with kindness! I think it’s the unexpectedness of it all. The bank teller who is a smidge grumpy when I first get to the window who is smiling and laughing when I leave.  Once a long long time ago when I was a moody teenager my Uncle W told me you catch more bees w/ honey than you do with vinegar.

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My Uncle W is a wise man.

Now get me behind the wheel of a car and my natural Masshole tendencies come rearing back!!

7 Comments

  1. The Biff
    January 14, 2013 /

    Couldn’t agree more. As Macca’s Uncle Pete used to say (and it’s engraved on a bench on the 17th Tee at Leigh Golf Club) “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice”

    I’ve also heard that “Smiles are contagious, you catch them from other people”

    Having said that I can be a miserable bastard too at times……

    • Lindy
      January 18, 2013 /

      Love that! I couldn’t agree more!

  2. Colleen - @amadisonmom
    January 15, 2013 /

    Yep… that Uncle W really is a wise man.

    And um… I’m from New Jersey. It’s totally a northern thing. When I went to college in North Carolina I was actually confused by people saying hi to me all the time. At first, I was convinced I had met people and totally forgot them. lol

    • Lindy
      January 18, 2013 /

      haha I went to college in South Carolina and I had the same experience- they’re weird down there! Then you’d see them again and they’d blank you because they didn’t remember seeing you- they were just on autopilot!!

  3. January 15, 2013 /

    “disarming people with kindness” !!! lol you just turned it upside down. I’m sure I must have read that wrong! I read that as sort of turning it back into a “get the upper hand” reason for being nice. Whereas the really sweet honey is just being sweet because it sort of feels nicer that way I think. I so wish I could be the sweet honey every day and all my good intentions are there but I soooooo fail far too many times and I’m just a grump at the core I think ! In fairness you have never once grumped with me, so in my experience you are already 100% honey – well done 🙂

    • Lindy
      January 18, 2013 /

      Ya I think you did read it wrong- I just think it wastes energy not being nice and I’d rather be nice. Now some people are taken off guard by friendliness and that’s what I meant when I said disarming them with kindness. I am totally NOT sweet honey all the time believe me! I’m just trying to change by default behaviour away from grumpy. Sadly it’s something I have to work on as I am grumpy by nature!!

      • January 18, 2013 /

        now I understand! I knew I’d read it wrong LOL The grumpy by nature people are sooooo much more entertaining and when they are nice with you it makes you feel special becuase you know they aren’t always like that 🙂 See always a silver lining 🙂