Saturday, January 28, 2012

Being Ignored Hurts

My husband and I ran errands today. A salesman in a shoe stor asked my husband, "How are you today?" Instead of replying, "Fine." as I would have done, my husband looked at the employee's nametag. He responded, "Fine, Bob, how are you?".

T'he salesman stopped dead in his tracks and answered, "Great. Thank you for asking."

This young man has probably asked that question dozens of times a day. He apparently never had a response like that one.

Everyone likes to feel linked to other people. A recent study at Purdue University looked at what was required to make that connection.

Researchers discovered that it takes very little to make that connection. Something as easy as eye contact can make a difference.

On the other hand, people who were ignored as the research assistants "looked past" them, felt disconnected and alone.

I'm going to make more of an effort to make eye contact and recognize others, by name if possible. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I know there are times when looking someone directly in the eye can be dangerous.

But I am rarely in that situation. Most of the time, I need to acknowledge the presence of others.

I suggest you do the same.