One of the many reasons why in-person interactions are important is that they give us the opportunity to give and receive small acts of kindness.
A recent study showed that, across different cultures and age groups, there are frequent moments of kindness, where people offer each other help – and we probably don’t notice it: holding the door open for you; making a cup of tea; reaching down something from a top shelf; giving you directions to somewhere; helping you look for something you’ve lost; even just greeting you pleasantly.
The researchers’ conclusion was that these small acts of kindness are a part of our inherent nature – we are built that way. And it makes sense. Each of those moments releases the ‘happy hormones’ in our body, for both the receiver and the giver, and this helps to keep us healthy and build our immune system. We increase this effect when we notice and say thank you. Gratitude is a bonus that we all appreciate.
If you wonder whether this is real, just spend a day noticing how, in your interactions, you lend a hand to someone else, or they help you. Did they rinse the cup for the second cup of coffee while you put the kettle on? Did they clear the table? Did they pick up something you dropped and give it back to you? Did they slow or speed up their pace to match you? It happens all the time.
Aren’t we lucky!!