by AINSLEY LAWRENCE
When you move to or live in the South, there are a few things you can expect. You can expect to see beautiful homes and architecture, clean living, and a healthy dose of what we call Southern hospitality. Essentially, this is a two-word term that means that we will greet and treat you with kindness, warmth, and a friendly smile.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg of what Southern hospitality can be. Today, we want to talk about how you can implement these same attributes into your own life and how they can help you to be happier and more gracious to the people you meet.
1. Smile More!
One thing that you can count on when you spend any time in the South is that you will be greeted with a smile by almost everyone you meet. As Southerners, we are happy with our lives, and we are always excited to meet new people who can share that same great feeling.
While smiling is a great way to help others to feel comfortable, it is also a great way to improve your own health. Studies have shown that smiling can help you deal with physical pain, especially if you show the Duchenne smile, which is when you smile so wide that it reaches your eyes. If you have a sudden flash of pain, you can make the Duchenne smile, and you may feel a moment of pain relief that can make you feel better. Some even believe that smiling can help you avoid the risk of heart attack and stroke.
2. It is Important To Make Everyone Feel Welcomed
Smiling is a way of making people feel welcomed, but that is just part of the equation. You can also help people to feel accepted by complimenting them while also respecting their boundaries. It only takes a minute to make a bad first impression, and if someone is put off by your demeanor, then they may never truly warm up to you.
Having a polite and welcoming spirit is especially important if you work with highly sensitive people. These are folks who often have neuro-diverse traits that can cause them to be a bit more emotional than others when they face certain situations. You may not know if you are working with someone who is highly sensitive, so it is important that you treat everyone with an equal level of respect wherever you are. Display love and appreciation toward others and show that Southern hospitality can make every person feel welcome.
3. Benefits Of A Clean Home
When you come down south, and you visit a friend or family member, you will undoubtedly notice that their house is clean and welcoming. Plus, it will likely be remarkably free of clutter. It is wise to take a page out of their book and try the same decluttering practices at your home. There are numerous perks to doing so. In addition to creating a clean space where you can move about and ensure everything has its place, decluttering can also improve your mental health.
When your house is full of clutter, and it is getting out of control, then subconsciously, you might feel like you are also losing control of your life, and it can result in stress and anxiety that can cause havoc at work and with your loved ones. Make it a point to clean and declutter when you can, and you’ll feel better overall.
4. Empathy Is Important
Another trait that is a major component of Southern hospitality is empathy. Essentially, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. We know that life can be hard sometimes and that things won’t always go the way you want. That is why we try to lend a listening ear and provide a reassuring word.
Even if you do not live in the South, it is important to try to be empathetic whenever the situation calls for it. Empathy is important in your personal life because it will help you to forge stronger relationships with your family and friends. It is also crucial to show empathy at work, especially if you are in management. By understanding the plight of your employees and allowing them to take time off when they are sick or distressed, you can show that you truly care. Your efforts will be noticed, and your team will show their appreciation through their work.
5. How To Be Charitable
While being nice is one thing, another crucial part of Southern hospitality is that we are charitable when there is a friend or neighbor in need. We will step up as a community and provide the help, time, and money necessary to get you back up on your feet. No matter where you live, being charitable is an important asset because it is a way to make a difference in the world and help society’s neediest and most vulnerable. Plus, when you show charity, you create an important example for your children, and they will continue your positive ways for years to come.
As you can see, there are many important lessons that you can learn from Southern hospitality. Try these tips, and you will see that you can make a positive difference in the world around you.