“One of the greatest gifts in this world is the ability to make others smile.”
― J.E.B. Spredemann
There are people in this world who we either like or don't like. We have friends, acquaintances, and coworkers, and individuals we don’t get along with. Some people we may love, while others we feel neutral toward.
Going beyond just being someone's friend is the quality of friendliness. Friendliness is an extension of kindness and compassion from your heart to someone else's. you don't have to be friendly towards people you don't like. What if you actually just used this as a method to work through whatever your differences may be?
When we think about what we need to survive, often food, water, and shelter are the first things that come to mind. But what about our social relationships? These are just as important. So if you are ever feeling starved of social interaction, try being more friendly in your interactions with people- whether it’s your bus driver or waiter. You never know what a friendly smile or gesture could do!
Turns out, smiling actually makes us feel good, too! Not only do you boost your own brain and body through smiling, you also have a higher chance of spreading that contagious positive energy to someone else who may smile back at you (which means you've made them feel good, too!). That sounds like a win-win situation!
Sometimes being more friendly can seem a bit risky. What if the friendliness is not returned? You will find that one must be brave in order to be friendly. It does not mean to give up because you are already being rewarded just by being friendly.
The practice of friendliness also helps you to see the good in yourself and others rather than focusing on the negative aspects. Over time, you may find your entire worldview changing as you embrace this warm state of mind.
Just like self-care, your outward friendliness is often a reflection of your inward friendliness. Treat yourself like your best friend and be kind with how you spend your time, talk to yourself, feed yourself, etc. This will make those moments of friendliness toward your foes that much easier! And who knows - they be in your friend in no time, too.