I didn't realize I was a walking talking ball of encouragement until my husband pointed it out. Well - he didn't say it quite that way. In fact, he began by pointing out how weird I am because I hollered out the car window at an acquaintance. I guess I thought everyone did that kind of thing. I posted about the scenario on social media and learned a lot about myself from the comments made by friends and family.
I'll back up a bit. I love coffee and I especially love Starbucks coffee. I fell in love with it decades ago when I was traveling for work. I appreciated the consistency of their product and customer service. No matter where I traveled, I Could count on a Venti Vanilla Latte to be a Venti Vanilla Latte. That was important to me. As much as I enjoyed visiting local mom and pop restaurants and coffee shops, when I was busy with work, I needed that one piece of consistency to begin my day on a positive note. Now, I only visit Starbucks when I have gift cards, but just being there puts me in a good mood. Before I digress much more, I'll get to the conversation:
Picture hubby and I going through the drive through on a chilly evening a few weeks past Christmas. It's snowing lightly and the barista hands us our drinks with a smile. (I'm in the passenger seat of the farm truck and hubby is driving)
"wow, it's you - hey Crystal I haven't seen you in a while. How are you?"
"I'm great thanks - more importantly how are you? Good Christmas?"
"Pretty stressful actually - I think I'm glad it's over."
"Well - you're still gorgeous and I'm happy to see your smile!"
"You're so sweet; thanks!"
As we drive away, my husband asked if I was hitting on the barista. I turned to him quite perplexed but of course he was laughing as he says "you know, guys don't say that kind of thing to each other. Women are weird."
We had a great conversation and I guess I've been me for so long I hadn't realized I was encouraging people. It probably started when I was managing people at a call center, or maybe as a child when my doting father was always telling me positive things, but it has become a part of my style and after speaking with some of my children's friends, it's become part of them as well. Once you've done something repeatedly over a long period of time, it becomes second nature.
The more I chatted with friends about encouragement, the more I learned. We created a list of the top 5 things you can do if you want to become an encourager of others. Maybe you're already doing these - but if not, consider adding a few of them to your daily routine. When you encourage others, your self talk changes as well and you'll find yourself smiling more as you do even greater things than you did before!
- Offer a sincere compliment to a stranger or acquaintance (this doesn't have to be wordy - for example: wow - that's an awesome pair of boots! I love your hair! etc...)
- Provide feedback regarding a business transaction (this could mean leaving a book review on Amazon, mentioning something to a manager or owner at a grocery or convenience store, or leaving a note with a tip at a restaurant)
- Take an interest in someone (you can do this in person, over the phone, social media, email, etc... ask someone how they are doing and have a conversation. Offer a compliment about something they are doing that you find interesting. Ie: that sounds really interesting; you've been working hard toward your goal. Way to go!)
- Refer a friend (this could definitely work with authors and readers, but take it one step further and if you know of a friend who is hiring, offer to share their job posting with your friends, if you know a friend looking for work, offer up any suggestions you have that may help them find work, etc... )
- Get your hands dirty (not really...but sort of... basically get involved and sometimes this sounds like "hey, I know getting to the gym is your goal, I'll help you. Wanna meet up there after work tomorrow?" sometimes it does mean physically getting dirty though... ie: "I know you can can get all these seeds in the ground and make this garden happen before it rains, let me help you". Make whatever is important to your friend important to you and get in there to help them. Being on someone's team is very encouraging.
Have I mentioned how amazing you are dear reader? I love that you show up, take time to read and digest the information, and I'd love to hear from you! What are ways you've encouraged others? How have others encouraged you? And while you're leaving comments - what's your favorite Starbucks drink or the name and location of your favorite coffee shop?
Thanks in advance for the comments! You're Fabulous!!!
and now...a little more about me...
Crystal is a hot mess of busy-ness who has decided to shorten her bio...
|Shown from left to right:|
Delphine riding Honey
Mr. Otto holding Eudora
Crystal riding Marv.
Thank you Forward Farm, LLC
You can find Crystal milking cows, riding horses, and the occasional unicorn (not at the same time), taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books here, and at her own blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade and she has never (not once) been accused of being normal!