I love being nice to people. It really does pay off with just little gestures as simple as holding a door open for someone. I get a kick out of how appreciative people are when you hold a door, especially when they are still a couple of feet away. It leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling for at least 30 seconds. It's almost as if people are shocked that chivalry still exists, and practiced by a woman no less. I really love holding the door open for men. They always seem perplexed for a moment and then unnerved that a female (an unusually petite one at that) did the deed they think they should have done.
I also make it a point to clear my own table at restaurants and diners, smile and greet as many people I make eye contact with and so on. Though I must confess that while being nice pays in the form of good feelings sometimes there are those people out there who are not as appreciative of, nor do they deserve the goodwill gesture and turn the deed into intentions of murder; which brings me to my biggest pet peeve.
When I’m driving, I try to be as polite a driver as often as possible and almost always extend the right of way to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
Many times I have to negotiate with one of my multiple personalities on whether I should let someone else proceed and hold people up in back of me or just drive and let the waiting person be stuck forever in limbo until traffic clears. I would feel too guilty, so I almost always win the negotiation and the prize is indeed the warm & fuzzies, especially if they are courteous enough to acknowledge the deed with an enthusiastic nod or wave.
Every now and then there are those pedestrians that I’ll stop and wait for. Whenever I’m on the other side of that transaction and someone else stops and lets me cross, I’m grateful! I smile...wave… mouth a quick thank you, and then I speed up my pace to get out of their way quickly so they can move on.
Now it seems almost inevitable that when I am the driver and I extend that courtesy to pedestrians, they don’t do any of the above. They slowly meander about like constipated penguins in the desert with no tomorrow insite and then I’m left to feel terrible that I’ve held up the drivers in back of me. It’s then that find myself fist fighting my alter ego who wants to put the pedal to the floor and flatten the inconsiderate sloth. Road rage, you’ve gotta love it.
Speaking of road rage, I really hate it when someone pulls out in front of me. I’m usually pretty mild mannered, however, road rage always seems to get the better of me. I purchased some magnetic company signs for the doors of my car. I would love to use them but after one experience of road rage which entailed a lot of obnoxious honking, screaming and yelling and a couple of obscene hand signals (which are not covered in your DMV driver’s handbook by the way), I decided it’s probably not the best promotion for myself or my company. The driver I had just inflicted all of that hostility on, could have been my future client!
The other day my husband invited a friend from work over for dinner whom had never been to our city. I was driving home from work to meet them when all of a sudden a guy in a huge truck shot out in front of me forcing me to slam on my brakes. As I did this he proceeded to come to a crawl instead of correcting his bad move by speeding up so I wouldn’t hit him. I laid on my horn like a lunatic and flailed my arms about. After a few minutes I gained my composure and while the driver of the truck drove ahead of me repeatedly looking back in his rearview mirror, I started to feel paranoid and began to pray that it wasn’t our dinner guest on his way to our house.
I find it so much easier to be nice and feel good about it for a few seconds after, than to be rude and feel guilty for hours. Weeks in my case! :0)