Be the First to give a Friendly “Hello”

Hello, Greeting, Salutation, Courtesy

When you see someone you know approaching, do you say “hello” first?  Or do you wait for him/her to initiate the salutation?  If you walk into a busy store and spot someone you knew in high school, do you pretend not to see them? Or do you act surprised when they greet you?  If you said yes to either of these statements then I challenge you to consider breaking out of that comfort zone.  Start saying “hello” first. Here’s why:


Even if you do not feel confident, being the first to say hello will give the impression that you are confident.  Get in the habit of always saying it first and you will become more confident as you gain practice and comfort.  You will notice people will treat you as if you are confident.

Increases Likability

Saying “hello” is just a nice thing to do.  Greeting people is a friendly gesture regardless of whether you know, or  like, the person.  When you get in the habit of initiating salutations, you will develop a reputation of friendliness.  People will look forward to seeing you.

Increases Recognition

It’s easy to be the first to say “hello” to someone you know because of the comfort associated with a familiar face.  When you say “hello” to someone you don’t know, s/he may seem confused at first if s/he are not sure who you are.  When you continue to greet him/her, s/he will become familiar with you.  S/he may seek to find out who you are because of your friendly demeanor.  Or s/he may just come out and formally introduce him/herself.

Makes you Memorable

Those who say “hello” often, are memorable for the right reasons.  When a person passes another on a regular basis without acknowledging him/her, there isn’t any reason for them to remember each other.  They are just strangers on a path.  When a “hello” is initiated, suddenly there is an intentional, novel and emotionally charged intervention. This will create neuron spikes in the brain which will enable a memory to form.  Although we may never hear how memorable our “hello” was, it is always nice when someone mentions they remember you from that first interaction.

Spreads Goodwill

In this world of daily news of despair, loss and upheaval, anything with a positive sentiment is desperately needed in our global energy field.  Saying “hello” is a simple way to spread cheer and initiate feelings of goodwill.

Could Brighten Someone’s Day

You never know what is going on inside someone else’s mind.  Your simple “hello” may have a profound effect on someone.  Perhaps a person had a rough day, experienced loss or  his/her 2-year-old just had a total melt-down in the grocery store.   A smile and “hi” could be an inviting distraction or a pivotal shift in mood.  Why not risk it and say “hello”?   What have you got to lose?

Vicki Noels-Cornish

An effervescent personality with a passion for courtesy,manners and civility. Leadership Consultant specializing in image, leadership and career development

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