Wednesday, May 11, 2011

N.E.W. Day 3: Welcome Wednesday!

Today is Day 3 of National Etiquette Week, otherwise known around these parts as…


We don’t mean saying, “You’re welcome” (although that’s important, too). We mean creating a welcoming environment for others. How do you do that? With yourself, of course!

Think of three things:

• Your smile. If you want others to feel comfortable around you, give a friendly smile. If you’re worried about looking fake, refer to a mental image of someone or something — a friend, a pet, a good meal, whatever — that really makes you smile. In time you’ll realize you’re smiling because you actually like other people!

• Your handshake. Too strong? Too weak? Strike the right balance with a firm (but not crushing) handshake. Let it last for a moment, but not eons.

• Genuine conversation. This can be very difficult for shy people. If the idea of speaking to strangers (or even friends) at social events strikes fear in your heart, think of a few conversation points beforehand, so you feel prepared. If it’s a spontaneous interaction, try to be yourself — a phrase that may sound meaningless, but should at least remind you to stick to what you know. And remember that an important part of a conversation is taking a break from talking to listen to the other person. Don’t feel like talking much? Ask a few questions, and simply listen to the responses.

See you tomorrow for Day 4 of National Etiquette Week!

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