Why Be Stingy - Bust Mannequin Reading Glasses on Nose 08-17-22 01

Why Be Stingy?

Lately, I’ve been noticing that I’be been withholding niceties from people for little or no reason. Then I asked myself, “Why be stingy.”

Why Be Stingy – Especially With Something That is Plentiful?

Years ago when I was first writing this blog, I was often mean-spirited about others. I’d harshly critique designers. Or other knitters on knitting forums. And yarn stores and companies as well. A knitter-friend asked me at the time, “Why can’t you just be nice?”

Honestly, I was getting a lot of attention and response to blog posts by being mean. So I continued it. But I wish I could have heard my friend’s question and changed.

Fast-forward to today. When we’re out biking, I will usually wave to passers-by and say “good morning.” There is a woman who we see often on our rides. We don’t know her except by sight. I’d gotten it in my head that she was unfriendly. She never waved back. Or greeted us. Kept her head down and ignored us. As a way to punish this allegedly unfriendly community member, I snubbed her each time we’d pass her.

But then it occurred to me. Why be stingy with something as abundant as a smile. It costs me nothing. If it has no effect on her at all, it still doesn’t take anything away from me. And of course there’s this.

I’ve started to look at each “stingy” interaction I have with other people. And just questioning why, I’m able to be a lot more generous with others.

This is probably a lesson most of you already know, but it was an important revelation for me.

Current Knitting

I’ve been struggling to get time to knit. But I have started two more hats.

And yes…I start a second hat before I finish the first one. I hate the ribbing section, so I like to get it over with quickly.

8 comments on “Why Be Stingy?

  1. I try to remember that it costs nothing to be kind AND that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile. Of course, I learned the latter from The Mickey Mouse Club so it may not be true…

  2. I read your blog years ago. Guess I missed your snarky comments or I probably wouldn’t be here now! Once I learned that others people’s behavior has almost NOTHING to do with me it helped a lot. Also I live to be friendly. Seriously. I don’t have a job where I make a difference anymore (used to teach elementary school) and the only difference I can really make is to get friends and strangers to laugh or smile. Sometimes they just glare at me but that’s their problem. What’s that saying? Don’t worry what others think about you because they don’t. That’s not quite it, but…. So happy for you to be discovering this simple joy!

  3. As a habit, I usually smile or wave a hello to anyone I see that is close enough to observe me, like when people walk by my house as I’m getting my mail. I’ve never thought much about getting a response because I was doing what I like to do. However, as I’ve become older, I have come to realize that most of the “non-responders” are probably sad and depressed or so withdrawn that they cannot reach out with even a little smile. I hope you continue to be out-going, because you probably do more good than you know.

  4. Some people avoid eye contact with strangers because they are shy and don’t know how to respond to another person’s social niceties. Or they avoid social contact for a similar reason.
    But you are so right; being pleasant to others with whom we have casual contact can go a long way toward making someone’s day a bit better.

  5. Thanks, I needed to hear this today. I admit I am not generous with others. Mostly because I am scared I will get pulled into talking. My resting face looks mean as a snake, so few people approached me. Jane Fonda said once “You get the face you deserve.” I think I am going to try to deserve a happier face.

  6. Just found your blog, it’s wonderful! Can’t wait to ready thru it more. Your story reminded me of a neighbor. When we moved in, she never waved or said hi, we thought she must not like us. I finally got to talk to her and turns out she is hard of hearing and didn’t hear us to look our way. She is very friendly and one of our best neighbors. I always think of that now, when I think someone isn’t nice.

    1. Thanks Kara…and welcome. Love that story about your neighbor.

      Just so you know, your first comment here requires moderation, but all future comment’s will be posted as soon as you submit them.

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