The whole experience taught me an important lesson. It showed me that calmness and understanding are the only healthy options you have when you’re confronted with someone who’s dealing with underlying pain.
Here’s what I learned about the advantages of being friendly.
You can make a difference with friendliness.
Sometimes it feels as if the world is filled with impolite or angry people. As a result of this misperception, we’ve learned to raise our shields to the maximum. Instead of being open to people we don’t know yet, we do our best to avoid the risk of being vulnerable.
You can make a difference in this world by making the first step toward a potential relationship with others. Or, as Scott Berkun, former manager at Microsoft, has put it: “Initiating a positive exchange is a hallmark of a difference maker.”
Just imagine what could have happened if I had the courage to make the first step with my not so polite colleague. It would have given me at least the chance of discovering the underlying cause of her behavior, and maybe even helping her.