What’s your day been like?

Some people are naturally ‘people people’. I don’t mean they are extraverted, or introverted. I mean they just like people. I’m like that. I just like people. I like talking, I like listening, and I like to learn about others. When I’m on holiday, I’ll ask 101 questions to tour guides and the like so I get what it’s like to be in that place.

One of the best things that positive psychology tells us about improving our wellbeing is that seeking out the company of others is of huge benefit to our psychological wellbeing. In a previous post, I spoke about positive energy networks. But that was focused at work. Personally though, there are some very pertinent actions we should be encouraging to help each other understand how to live a better life, and to be happier in this life.

If you recall, originally, therapy and the likes aims to take people suffering from some sort of depression or other mental anxiety from a state of ‘-1’ to ‘-5’ to a state of ‘0’. ‘0’ in this instance meaning ‘normal’. Positive psychology aims to take you from a state of ‘0’ to a state of ‘+5’. And that’s what fascinates me. That’s where I think we can do so much more in our lives to truly make a difference to ourselves.

There’s plenty to personally do in terms of the food we eat, the exercise we take, the work/life balance we try and achieve. But there’s also something very conscious we need to do about the people we connect with. And this is quite possibly the hardest thing to be conscious of, while at the same time being the most rewarding.

When I leave home in the morning, and I start that daily routine, at what point am I connecting with someone, and at what point am I just a passer-by? Mostly, I won’t care about my fellow commuters, we happen to be in the same space because of circumstance, not through choice. But then someone falls over. Or someone falls ill. Or someone gets irate with another passenger. Or someone sneezes. Do we intervene? Should we? What benefit is there to us? What difference does it make if I offer assistance?

You arrive at work. You say pleasant hello’s to the security guard. Walking to your desk/office you do more of the same. And then you start to do your work. Where have you connected with any one of those people? Do you need to? Are they important enough to you? And what about when you go about your work. Bob comes to have a chat with you. Brenda sends you an email asking for that information. Billy needs an urgent response to that question. Are these transactions or are these times to connect and make a difference?

You talk with your friends at some point. You share some banter. Talk about something trivial. Make an effort to remember events and let them know you care. If you didn’t talk to them would your day have passed any differently? Would you have missed them? Would they have missed you?

There’s a clear bias to my questions, and it’s in line with what I want to get you to think about. This isn’t just about ‘active listening’ or ‘great customer service’. This is about your wellbeing, through the connections you actively choose to, or not make. And at the same time being mindful that your connection will have an impact on the person you’re with. Everyone gains something by being connected to.

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Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

7 thoughts on “What’s your day been like?”

  1. Good stuff. I am an intervener.

    One of the places where I work has the reception off to the side of the main entrance thoroughfare. Almost everyone who works there comes in and goes straight through with not even a glance to the side, let alone a word of greeting. This is partly a building design issue and partly a lack of connectedness issue.

    I and a few others choose to step to the left and say hi. It’s one of the simplest things I can do and so it fits with my energetically lazy what is the least I can do today to have a positive impact philosophy 🙂

    1. I couldn’t imagine you being anything other than intervener, in every positive sense of the word!

      Liking your philosophy dude, I have the same attitude!

  2. Great post Sukh, I’m one of those people who has to smile and connect, whether that is for a few seconds, or with some people, for life. One of the joys of being alive is to connect with people, smile, share and be part of humanity!
    As Doug has said, it is so easy to ignore the people who are seen to be “part of the fixtures and fittings!”
    Lastly, the last two years in own business has taught me one thing in life that don’t dismiss anyone on face value as you just don’t know what their story is, often a pleasant surprise! I love to be part of the rich tapestry of life!

  3. Hi Sukh
    Love this post. I wrote quite recently on a personal blog that getting up in the morning, getting out my little corner of the world, going for a run (who am I kidding, more like a plod) and simply saying hello and smiling to passersby is one of the many best bits of my day. The running is great, but for me the smiling with others is even better. It sets off my happy alarm, warming me up for the day.

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