I’d say I pretty consistently rank at an 8.2 on the Nice Scale. I’m exceptionally friendly and outgoing (over the top, even) in familiar situations but can withdraw a bit when I’m uncomfortable that makes me appear rude and standoffish. I assure you I’m neither. That being said, if I’m only a “B” on the letter scale of how enjoyable being around me is (and maybe I’m self-scoring too highly) then there’s lots of room for improvement.
I’ve come to realize that every interaction matters. How polite I am when I’m in a rush at the store and the new cashier is being trained is usually directly correlated to how much time I’ve spent in my Bible or how closely I’m abiding with Christ that day. Well, that and my caffeine intake. Regardless, the minuscule comings and goings can be just as relevant as those deep, intimate relationships we have with those around us.
Let me expand.
Today I was blessed to run into a gal from my small group in a first time mama’s group at my church. The gal I ran into is a self-professed non church goer. We saw each other for about an hour a week for nearly two months. The conversations were usually around how the adjustment from having it all together to slowly losing your sleep deprived mind is going. Because our interactions were minimal at best, the role I played as a co-leader of this group was to exchange pleasantries and the like with the long-term goal of the group being to establish rich relationships between mama’s in the same life stage. I was reminded that though we’re acquaintances there’s still such opportunity to be an encouragement and affirm others regardless of how intimately we know one another.
Logistically speaking it’s nearly impossible to create deep, meaningful relationships with each person you meet. Those acquaintances, strangers, and familiar faces that you don’t have a name to put with them yet, are all opportunities to just be kind. To smile and get outside of yourself. Each interaction doesn’t have to be about theology and why not all belief paths lead to Heaven.
I know my insecurities are raised when I’m around thin, beautiful, fashionable women. My deep wounds from childhood still make me, at times, revert back to my 10 year old, blue eye shadow wearing self. Living in an area where elaborate material possessions are on display for all to see it’s hard not to get sucked into the game of “Why Don’t I Have That?” There are many chances for our own preconceived short comings to hinder us from fully engaging with others. Women who could ultimately encourage us to be better, more confident versions of ourselves are in your small groups, the next office over, and on the soccer field.
Maybe tomorrow’s your day to jump from a “6” to an “8” on The Scale. Heck, even from a “0” to a “0.3.” I’m unsure the hurts from your past or the stress of your present situation but I assure you holding the door, taking the cart back to the store, buying a latte, or a quick compliment could be just enough to restore someone’s view that not everything in the world has to be terrible all the time. That kind people do exist. And that you’re one of them.