Category Archives: Kindness

Romantic Gestures … Chivalry is Not Dead!

Now that summer is winding down and my J months of dating are behind me, I can share my notes on what I have learned from my dating experiences the past couple of months.

I have learned that chivalry is not completely dead.  Thank goodness.  I believe I am finally meeting the right people.  I was raised by very traditional parents.  My Dad did everything for my Mom and his four daughters; and my brother was raised to protect us as well, even though he was younger than us – his sisters.

Being the youngest girl and sickly as a child, made my Dad and brother extra protective of me. They wouldn’t let me do much, nor carry anything.  I was exempt from most chores.  I guess that is why I became a voracious reader and enjoy writing.  But I digress.

One thing I grew up loving, was when my Dad and brother always walked closest to the curb, ensuring I was protected from any oncoming traffic, or splashes from cars hitting puddles.   I’ve known men who religiously obey this unwritten rule and those that don’t even know it exists.  Happily, lucky for me, lately, I have met men who are still old-fashioned, chivalrous and true gentlemen.

I have enjoyed the past few weeks.  I have had men open doors for me, carry my bags, hold the umbrella in the rain, take my hand to help me out of the car, give me their jacket as the sun went down, stand as I entered the room, promptly on time, and ensured I arrived home and upstairs safely.  It was refreshing.

I understand that we live in a society where women are fighting to be treated equally and are fiercely independent.  And many of the traditionally gentlemanly acts are lost to so many.  I have heard some women call men sexist for holding doors and even offering seats to them.  Not me.  Sadly, I think many young men are a product of today’s society and many may think they are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.  They don’t want to be considered weak nor whipped.

Yes, women are totally capable of opening their own door. We are also capable of opening a door for a guy. It’s the kind thing to do for others.   I have held the door open for many a people, regardless of their gender.  I have offered my seat to all sorts of people – pregnant women, elderly people, people with many bags, or small children.  When an opportunity arises to encourage, promote, and kindly accept chivalry, why not take it?  Let’s allow more kindness in our lives.  I will continue to allow the men in my life to be slightly old-fashioned, manly and chivalrous while I graciously respond to their actions.

I enjoy my femininity and prefer a masculine man.  I don’t think I am weak nor helpless.  I do like when men make me feel valuable and worthy of respect.  I truly believe that it’s the small things that count in any relationship. Displaying good manners will always earn extra points with me.  I encourage and appreciate male chivalry.  These little things are romantic and sweet gestures as well to me.

When a man walks around me, so he could position himself to be on the outside, closest to the street and curb, makes me smile.  I think it’s cute and somehow shows me he can be reliable.  And I just know that my Dad and brother are smiling down on me from Heaven when I find a man to make me feel as protected as they did.  I am truly thankful for the care and strength that the men in my life have shown me. I am blessed.

And if someone opens a door for me, offers me their seat, or any other chivalrous gesture – I will always smile and politely say, “thank you” … with a twinkle in my eye, grace in my step and hope in my heart.

 

 

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Compliments…the power of words…

I love when I get my hair washed and styled at the hair salon – I swear I walk out of there feeling like a million bucks! And having people compliment me before I even hit the street is a definite plus! But I didn’t always welcome compliments.  In the past, I could just not accept a compliment graciously, and say, ‘thank you”.

In the past, twenty people could come up to me in a day’s time and say something nice about me and I’d smile and say thank you, but in my mind I would dismiss every single compliment.  I simply couldn’t internalize something I don’t feel myself.    Maybe it was stupid – but it was my reality.

And sometimes, even now, especially when I go for treatment, I feel so ugly and useless, I may still have a hard time accepting a compliment…but I am more aware of this uneasy twinge, and manage to smile and confidently utter, “thank you”.

I no longer feel the need to counter any praise by listing off my flaws.  I no longer worry that by accepting admiration, I may appear arrogant.  I used to foolishly worry that I would come across as proud, conceited, or egotistical – if I accepted a compliment without following up with a negative.  I no longer feel this way.  I welcome and accept all compliments.   These days, I don’t find myself having to downplay my strengths and emphasizing my weaknesses.

So many people even with high self-esteem may tend to reject the compliment because they want to be seen as modest and humble; others with lower self-esteem may not accept the compliment because it is inconsistent with their self-image.    I guess also we sometimes think the person giving us a compliment only wants something – so we are less likely to believe it.

I understand now that a kind word, acceptance, actually makes me feel better; boosts my self-esteem.  I believe it even wards off some depression.  Compliments should lead to positive thinking, not lead us to focus on our flaws and questions other’s motives.

Between doctor visits, treatments, being too tired to perform 110% at work – I look forward to the smallest kindness.   Believing the kind words of others —when I am feeling stressed or sad can actually counteract those negative emotions and improve my mood dramatically.

Always in my pursuit of finding balance, I like to follow this goal:  Don’t let people’s compliments go to your head and don’t let their criticisms go to your heart.  I am not sure who first coined this expression – but the sentiment is a good reminder to all.

More words to live by:

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
– Leo Buscaglia

So today when my friend states, “When I compliment you, I compliment myself, because I am who I associate with”, I will just hug him and smile.  ♥


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