5 Unexpected Benefits of Being Friendly

Posted by on November 5, 2017 in Conscious Living, Inspirational, Thrive with 9 Comments

Friendly gestures that create good karma

By Steve Mueller | Tiny Buddha

“A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” ~Charles H. Spurgeon

What are the benefits of being friendly? Some might argue that there aren’t many advantages to it. These people might even tell you that you should mind your own business instead of trying to please everyone.

But is friendliness really just an attempt to please others? Is it really a sign of insecurity or even weakness?

I believe friendliness is a sign of inner strength and balance.

Just a year ago, I was confronted with an extremely negative person at work. At first, I believed she acted as she did because she was struggling with he burdens we all have to bear from time to time.

I thought the problem would eventually resolve itself, but it didn’t. Only in retrospect I am beginning to understand that unresolved underlying pain could have influenced her behavior.

Unfortunately, I didn’t consider this possibility back then. In my ignorance I assumed the worst of her, thinking her behavior was a cold and calculating attempt to manipulate everyone around her.

I judged her based on her actions, without considering the underlying motives. She was igniting conflicts wherever she went, so I assumed she felt more comfortable in an unstable environment.

Usually, I try to stay calm in situations like this. But there are some people who know exactly how to push your buttons. She was one of them.

I had already decided to confront her when something unexpected happened. Apparently, she had found one of my colleagues’ sensitive spots, which led him to burst out yelling at her in front of our boss.

Our boss wasn’t too happy about that, demanding my colleague take anger management training.

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.

1. 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.

Instead, I was so preoccupied with defending myself that I didn’t even consider honest friendliness as a possible means to resolve the issue. This was the moment when I realized that I could only make a difference by being kind and helpful to other people.

2. You’ll strengthen your willpower.

Let’s face it, there will always be people who test your limits. It’s not easy to treat others with respect in such situations.

We all know how difficult it can be to be kind to certain people. However, we shouldn’t use their misbehavior as an excuse to treat them just as badly.

Allowing someone to make us behave impolitely only makes the situation worse. On the other hand, if we have the courage and willpower to keep our balance, we can contribute a great deal toward the easing of the situation.

I experienced this firsthand, when my boss was yelling at me for a mistake I’d made. Instead of arguing at the same level of aggression, I chose to remain calm and tried to explain what had led to my mistake. Surprisingly, this not only helped calm him down, but it also helped me resolve the problem quickly.

These are the situations that both test our limits and strengthen our willpower, if we choose not to give in to the temptation of treating others as they treat us.


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9 Reader Comments

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  1. 10153713993098844@facebook.com' Nancy Terrell says:

    Be friendly as there is good in everyone.

  2. 1943636282527731@facebook.com' Sylvester Chisanga says:

    Being friendly is like a pressure cooker fitted with a safety valve for safely blowing out excess pressure. It is our friends we befriend in advance who come to our rescue when things go wrong in our lives.

  3. 193061894374383@facebook.com' Donita Atkins says:

    That’s how l feel.

  4. 10156203850930315@facebook.com' Sonia Bonner says:

    No point to being friendly to horrible people

  5. 1017706258295128@facebook.com' Diane John says:

    I can’t help it ,talk to anyone.Jehovah’s witnesses run from me.

  6. 776578432451833@facebook.com' Arintoc Elinor says:

    being friendly will cost u a lot. sometimes they’re the ones who will play as a traitor or they are with u for benefits.

  7. 10207473247130411@facebook.com' Mimi Davis says:

    We are born friendly it is part of who we are; human, being friendly does not mean being stupid although a lot of people think that if you are friendly and nice u are stupid ( to the very contrary for me). these people are just ignorant or have not been love enough as children I am just friendly because it is who Iam and it makes me feel happy…A smile goes along way…

  8. 410459945817103@facebook.com' Salim Alamrun Sambu says:

    Be friendly with the friendly,no way of reaching out with compassion where the feeling aint mutual.

  9. 10153730629315435@facebook.com' Trude Sletteland says:

    I would never lower myself to the level of the unfriendly. I do avoid them, though. But I wouldn’t be unfriendly back. I believe this attitude makes me generally happy. And lets me meet many wonderful people.

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