Make Friends with Everyone, Even for a Moment
It may seem unimportant, but a smile and a little sincere small talk goes a long way. Whether I’m at the grocery counter or picking up takeout, I make an effort to keep my phone in my pocket, look the clerk in the eye, and strike up a little conversation. Meeting someone’s gaze makes us more subtly aware that they’re a whole person in their own right, and it lets them know that we see them that way.
In a sense, every time we don’t look someone in the eye as we move through the mundane parts of our day, we’re losing an opportunity to see and be seen as a relatable, valuable human being with a sense of shared identity. It’s important to note that individuals with neurodivergent conditions like autism may have difficulty with eye contact, and that’s OK too.
A smile can make a difference. It goes a long way. 🙂