Pro Tip: Effort (Part 1)
I think one of the keys to being a better person and not being a trashcan person is effort. I think a little bit of effort goes a long way. And effort doesn’t necessarily mean using up a bunch of resources like time and money. It’s more like using your manners, hold the door for people, make eye contact, put your phone down when you are with another human and actually interact with them.
My ukulele instructor was so impressed that I printed out lyrics and also emailed him some songs before our last lesson. It’s what I said I would do and I did it. It wasn’t a huge amount of effort, but just that little bit and having some integrity can end up being really impressive and it also feels good.
I send snail mail. Birthday cards. Housewarming cards. Cards and love notes for no reason. It’s not a lot of effort to show people that I’m thinking about them. And say you don’t want to send snail mail, that’s cool. But reply to emails. Reply to texts within a reasonable amount of time. If you’re thinking about someone, TELL THEM. Check in on your people BEFORE they post on social media that their life is falling apart. Text just to say hello.
If someone invites you to a thing, it’s because they want you there. Fucking SHOW UP (unless you’re already booked). Make the effort. Be present. Quit taking people for granted.
Get the name of your waiter or service professional. If you’re getting your nails done, at the very least say hello to the person and ask their name. Treat service professionals like people. Say thank you to them. Tip them well. They’re doing jobs that you probably aren’t doing yourself.
Don’t just think your compliments, actually tell people. See someone wearing cute shoes? Pretty skirt? Tell them! Compliments do nothing if they just live inside your head. They also cost you NOTHING.
One of the secrets to being a less shitty human is actually TRYING to be a less shitty human.