The ways to be civil are endless. As a life and style contributor, I enjoy sharing ways to improve your health and appearances. My posts often encourage you to find your own personal style and then run with it — make it your own! Which is why I must bring up the topic of “inner beauty” because it is a real thing. The lack can destroy the lifestyle you’re working so hard at achieving. But the presence and strength of your inner beauty is what makes you gorgeous!
So in this post, I am encouraging you to do 2 things to beautify your insides:
Level the outer and the inner. Are you putting as much effort into your inner self as you are your outer self? Start by focusing on the goodness of your heart. When you do this you will automatically radiate. You will exude a beauty that no one else can match, unique to only you.
Intentionally share your beauty through graciousness and courtesy. You will leave a lasting impression on others, one that far surpasses any outward appearance.
Here are a few extremely simple, yet fundamental ways to be civil and shine that inner beauty to those around you.
Just say Hi
A proper greeting seems like a lost art. What should take the littlest effort and roll right off the tongue has turned into looking down at our phones and pretending that it’s not our responsibility. If you are able, greet people properly.
It feels so good when someone greets you with a pleasant smile and says, “Hello!” In any language, any custom, any situation. Saying Hello is polite, respectful, and welcoming. Conversely, have you ever walked into a room full of people and no one acknowledges you. Then you catch the eye of someone you know except they pretend like they didn’t just see you [why????] So now you’re left standing silently begging the universe for small talk with a stranger or for someone you know (who won’t ignore you) to show up. Solution? Be brave and be the one to say Hi first. To stranger, acquaintance or better yet, both. That’s 2 people (you and the other person) who will feel less discomfort in an intimidating situation.
Whether you’re the guest or the host, the clerk or the customer, you have the power to do this. It is likable and right. And when you do, you’ll walk away knowing you gave someone the wonderful gifts of acknowledgement and recognition.
Say Please and Thank you
Rather than constantly reminding our children to say “please” and “thank you”, try modeling those words in daily exchange.
Here’s a simple phrase we like to use and it is always received well. “Hi. May I have please? Thank you.” Easiest phrase. It’s not outrageously proper and it’s a great substitute for, “Hey can I have that.” Give it a try and you’ll discover a range of positive responses from the other person. Store, drive through, phone call, home, work, speaking to toddler, speaking to dog or even Alexa (because even she has ears). Make it a habit to speak like this to everyone. Imagine the children and adults in your life, talking to you in this manner. Inner beauty starts with outer civility.
Let Them Finish
In other words, don’t interrupt. I’m so guilty. I do start off really listening. And then I find myself relating and so gripped by what you’re saying, that in the middle of your story, I start relating back. Then all of a sudden your face looks like this ? My intention was to connect. Instead, my interruption made you feel like your words don’t matter, that your feelings aren’t important.
The best way to connect with someone is to listen to them. It strengthens relationships and creates trust and bonding. When someone really looks at you and listens to your words, you feel so wonderful. They are interested in you, and they hear you. You feel valued and respected. This season and forward, I endeavor to listen, hear more and talk less. (My husband just read this and keeled over.)
The most difficult time to listen is when we’re in an argument. When we feel right and indignant about our stance. But this is when the beauty of civility can really shine. Taking a moment to truly hear and genuinely consider the other viewpoint can allow us to use compassionate words. Showing respect to the other person even in a disagreement. Validating is a superpower.
Make an Offer
While doing something for yourself, maximize that effort and offer to share with others. My husband taught me this. When he’s making a coffee for himself, he asks me if I want one. If he’s stopping somewhere, he asks us if he can bring anything home. It’s very considerate and caring.
For example, when you’re home and grab a beverage or snack, ask your family members, “I’m having a snack or something to drink, would you like one too?”
If you’re heading out for errands, think about who that might help, and ask if they need anything while you’re out.
Offer to carry something, help pick up, clean up. Offer to listen.
Prayer, Power and the Beauty of Civility
The following excerpt mentions civility and comes from an article I read last Friday. It touched my heart and was very encouraging. I hope it is for you also.
An Invocation For The Nation
Senate Chaplain Barry Black began Wednesday’s trial proceedings with an invocation that concluded, “Help [our lawmakers] remember that patriots reside on both sides of the aisle, that words have consequences, and that how something is said can be as important as what is said. Give them a civility built on integrity that brings consistency in their beliefs and actions.”
As the writer says, “Let’s make his prayer for the Senate our prayer for the nation. And for ourselves.”
These actions seem minimal in comparison to the civility that is called upon in the invocation above, nonetheless, they are powerful ways to make tangible changes right here in front of us. Every day. For ourselves. Whether personal or political, friend or foe, civility can transcend differences. Thank you for sharing your inner beauty with others, and not just maintaining, but elevating, our society through your unique beauty of civility.