Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chit Chat

I came across this post on a blog-stalking morning, and I loved every word of it. I try to be this kind of person, and I have tried to teach my kids to be these kind of people. I have tried to teach my kids that you can find something nice to say about anyone, and make them feel noticed and special. It should become second nature to you and something you do without even thinking. I love the way this lady was described and how she treated everyone. I strive to be this kind of person everyday, and you should too..... Enjoy!! Chit-chat. That's what I grew up calling it. You know, when you go somewhere and people are just making small talk with one another? Chit-chat. It sounds like such a simple thing-small talk. It isn't though. Maybe it used to be, but we have grown so cold and hardened that even something as simple as small talk feels like a burden. It really seems like a dying art. I confess that it is something EXTREMELY hard for me to do. Just the thought of carrying on a conversation with someone I don't know is enough to put me in a cold sweat. Seriously. However, when I have done it, it has been very rewarding. Today I saw a lady who had mastered the art of chit chat. She was AMAZING!! She was a checker-outer-person at the grocery store (I never know what those people are called...). EVERY SINGLE PERSON who went through her lane responded and opened up to her friendly chatter! I KID YOU NOT!! You could see some that were reticent at first, but no one stood a chance. She was that good. I actually switched lanes so that I could go through her line. haha! She chatted about her kids, other people's children, an item being purchased, a hat someone was wearing, a woman's hair-do and one guy's choice of cigarettes. She didn't grin foolishly or inappropriately. She wasn't laughing like an idiot. She was just happy and pleasant. On the way home I tried to figure out WHY she was so successful at chatting it up with complete strangers. I think I stumbled on to at least one way to do this successfully. PAY ATTENTION. Whatever conversation she started with someone was always pertinent to them. She noticed a detail and used that as an opener. It's a well known fact that most people are overly eager to discuss themselves. Why not use this? She did. It does a couple of things. The first thing it does is make you aware of someone other than yourself (and can't we ALL use a little bit more of that?!). The second thing it does is crack the other person's shell. They were NOTICED!! What a lovely thing to be! I think these elements are key in unlocking the art of chit--chat. Perhaps there are other ways to converse with strangers successfully. I haven't seen any that I can recall, but I bet they do those two things. Something to think about anyway. Maybe this week we could all try a little chit-chat with someone we don't know. It will not only brighten your day and heart to make that small connection, but it will DEFINITELY bring a small bit of joy to another's heart. Go ahead, try it more than once! Charlotte Mason (who is one of my heroes) said, ""The thought which defiles a man behaves in precisely the same way as that which purifies: the one, as the other, develops, matures, and increases after its kind." BASICALLY it means that whichever thoughts we choose to allow will grow and multiply more like it. So, if we want to be warm and caring individuals, start THINKING warm and caring thoughts. Soon these thoughts will grow and multiply (much like a living organism) and won't have to try so hard. Just imagine how wonderful that would be! A world with more caring and kind people!!! Just lovely.

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