Dear Dr. Sylvia,
First, let me wish you a Happy New Year. I do hope you, we all, have great opportunities to grow and prosper this year.
I have been told that after the end of week two in January it is inappropriate to wish someone a happy new year. Who knew!
It reminded me of an old fun thought about the fact that it is very inappropriate to wear white shoes after the Labor Day holiday in September.
My question is: Are we still stuck with old cliché ways of responding?
Will I or whoever look stupid by saying a happy new year or wearing white shoes in say, November?
I keep thinking the world has changed and there is more freedom in the way we choose to live and learn.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
First, Happy New Year. Whew I’m still in the two-week window.
Here is a thought to consider.
I’ve heard it said — this is important — that the goodwill you gain in the first two weeks of the year will predict how the rest of the year will go.
Good start, good year. Bad start, well you know the rest.
Superstition or truth? You decide.
I want to now go bigger. So here is the question.
Do you pay attention to how we greet each other? When you say, “How are you?” my guess is the other person mostly will answer with “Fine.
Do you, Rebel, and everyone else, ever want to stir things up a bit to get a new and different response?
Maybe, just maybe, this is a good time to break the old patterns of communication repetition. Maybe now is the time to break out of old cliches that are really meaningless.
Think about this for a moment.
What is it you want as a result of talking with someone? If it is merely to be polite and move on? That’s fine. Well then saying nothing more than Happy New Year or How Are You will suffice.
However, here is a suggestion.
Add an extra sentence. After Happy New Year add an extra sentence or two.
Say, Have a year filled with (take your pick: high adventure, calmness and less stress, deep learning, lots of fun, etc).
I will venture to bet you get a more interesting conversation going. At least a more heartfelt smile.
Here is one more communication rule you may already know so this is just a bit of a reminder.
Better yet, ask open-ended questions. You know, questions where you cannot just respond yes or no.
It shows you are interested in others, that you want to hear more than just your own point of view.
And if you listen without interrupting, you will be appreciated beyond belief.
This being said, my hope for all of us, is that we continue to learn, blossom, be kind and helpful, keep going and keep growing.
Here’s to your success,