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Showing posts from August, 2016

Is friendliness such a good thing?

The first thing my kids and I noticed being back in the USA for the summer vacation is that people here are so friendly. People on the street actually say hello and smile. They are courteous at four-way stop signs (something you would never see in Switzerland).

One day, while I was driving around a full parking lot, I was shocked when a woman going in the opposite direction pointed to her left and said: "There's a spot available over there."

And then, the checkout guy at Stop & Shop asked my Swiss friend and I what language we were speaking (German). "Cool! I've always wanted to go to Switzerland," he said. My Swiss friend looked at me with amazement.

I think there are advantages to friendliness. It makes people feel good. It creates a pleasant atmosphere. It affirms others. People are attracted to smiling and kind people.

There's a downside, however, and I am beginning to understand why the Swiss are considered to be so aloof and--hence--unfriendly…