#UpbeatAuthors: Friendliness Is Just Being Nice.

Friendliness is kindness, laughter, caring. It’s asking, “Did  you have a nice weekend?” It’s telling someone their lunch smells/looks wonderful or complimenting them on their new haircut. It’s smiling at the antics of the toddler in the grocery cart in front of you in the checkout line at the supermarket.

But it’s also telling the mother of the toddler throwing a tantrum in aisle two that this, too, shall pass. Been there, done that. You’re doing fine.

It’s being patient when the person on the other end of phone is having problems taking your order because his computer went down. Your computer never acted up on you? Or it’s someone’s first week in a new job, and they’re fumbling their way through new procedures. You never started a new job and had trouble getting the hang of things?

Friendliness is behaving in the manner you want people to use with you.

#UpbeatAuthors: The Little Things

One way to show friendliness is to speak kindly to strangers. I don’t mean start random conversations with someone who could turn out to be an ax murder. I mean if someone is wearing an awesome hat, tell her. If you admire a person’s dress, let them know. “I love your hair!” Let people know their efforts have been noticed and appreciated.

This habit has been known to startle people, but then they smile and say, “Thanks!”

Who Invented “Birthstones?”

A few weeks back, I started wondering where the idea of “birthstones” came from. To me, it sounded like a marketing ploy invented by a greeting card company.

Turns out I was wrong. Sort of.

The origins are Biblical. Old Testament Biblical. The Book of Exodus describes the breastplate of Aaron as having twelve stones, one for each of the Tribes of Israel. Sardius*, topaz, carbuncle, emerald, sapphire, diamond, ligure**, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, and jasper.

Both Flavius Josephus (1st century AD) and St. Jerome (5th century AD) made the connection between the 12 stones in the Breastplate and the 12 signs of the zodiac. Naturally, this connection evolved. Some early cultures believed you should wear the stone corresponding to the current month. In 18th century Poland, the idea that a person should wear the stone corresponding to the month of their birth was born. The modern list of stones was standardized in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers–not a greeting card company.

  • *believed to be either ruby or carnelian.
  • ** possibly an orange zircon

#UpbeatAuthors: Saying Good Morning

My husband has a pet peeve. If someone can’t be bothered to say, “Good morning,” or otherwise acknowledge you–even a “Hi!” will do–he thinks poorly of that person. If someone always greeted him, he maintains a good impression of that person.

I always try to say good morning to the people with whom I work. I also try to say, “Have a nice night,” when I’m leaving.

Being friendly doesn’t take a lot of effort.