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Etiquette Talk: The Importance of Hello

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Why are people so scared of “Hello”?

It is a sign of respect. It is a sign of being friendly. It is a way of telling the other person that they exist, and acknowledging them.

This is one of my pet peeves, when someone doesn’t acknowledge another by the simple act of saying hello. When I am walking into a store or greeting someone who I just approached, even when I lock eyes with a  stranger as I am passing by, and I say hello, I expect one in return.

Maybe I am asking too much.

But in today’s world it is acceptable to not respond! Some how, it has become socially okay to not say a thing, to almost act as if the other person isn’t there.  I don’t quite understand it. Sure, they might be shy or socially awkward. But this is not a conversation, this is just a quick nod and a smile.

The absence of any greeting gesture is just plain rude. And we need to  put an end it.


By saying hello to a stranger, it shows that you are on the same playing field. It shows that you see them and are out in the world. It’s just a polite thing to do.

No one is ever too good for a hello. No matter who you are.

Since when did it become something so scary to just even nod your head in a “I-see-that-you-are-there-and-I-wish-you-a-good-day” kind of way. I wish people’s heads weren’t in their phones and instead were being friendly.

I have been around so many young people (and to be fair, now anyone can become scared of saying hello it seems) and to see that they become nervous and unsure of themselves when the opportunity presents itself to greet a stranger. They clam up, and just stare at the ground or at their phones, acting as if they didn’t hear you.

To me, a beautiful smile can do wonders for yourself and for them.  It is such a simple act and it shows respect.

The sad thing is that the parents aren’t any better and of course where are the youth learning their social skills from? Their parents. So if their parents could care less about acknowledging other people or that they think maybe that could be beneath them, then they are modelling terrible social skills that will only hurt their children in the long run.


Embracing the elegant lifestyle means that you do anything within reason to make others around you feel happy, at ease, and make them want to be a better person.

By saying hello, or a smile, it is really just paying it forward. They might see you walk by and you gesture a little wave and quietly say hello, and they do the same to the next passerby. Then it spreads!

The generosity and the kindness is contagious. It is so beautiful, all because someone just says hello.  

The act of seeing that someone else exists really helps even yourself. By teaching it to the young, or by modelling good behavior, it portrays that you are empathetic. You must  be considerate of other people’s feelings. It is much more than just a simple hello. The impact can be very big, but all it takes is one little word to brighten up someone’s day.  


So you’ve done what you needed, you were polite and said hello. You are waiting for a response, to no avail. What is an elegant woman to do? You’re trying to adopt an elegant lifestyle and put other people’s emotions first and so you reach out to a stranger and say hello as you pass by one another. When you walk into a clothing store and you say hello to the first employee you see, but it must have fallen on deaf ears. You begin to think “what is the point?”

This will happen frequently. All I can say is… perseverance. It will take lots of it. Just ignore the silence and don’t take it personally.  Always keep trying because one day there will be a person who will reciprocate and you will feel proud!  

Don’t make any assumptions either. We are not living an elegant lifestyle to judge others. That would be the opposite of what we are trying to achieve. It will do you no good to assume that the woman who didn’t respond must be a snob. No. Sure, it would have been nice to receive a smile, however, we don’t know her situation.

Just move on, don’t take it personally, and keep your head high and pray that her day gets better. It is not our job to judge, and stop if you do because it makes you bitter.  

This gets easier too, with more time and experience the less it will hurt. There are many times people will receive your polite gesture and return it just as nice. The few times that it doesn’t happen, just think that your smile might have warmed up their day for the next people they see in their life.  


“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

These wise words from Gandhi is one of the best pieces of advice I have heard. It always goes back to what my parents used to say, “do as I say and not as I do”. This is just opposite and I think more effective. If you act how you want others to act, then someone may catch on and do it to someone else.

People learn better when they see the act being done rather then being told the right way to be.  

We need to teach our children the importance of saying hello to everyone and anyone. We need to teach them the proper ways of just being polite to a passerby.

For future happiness it is so imperative that we keep polite greetings alive and well! We need to persevere and keep trying. This is not just for us, but for the others out there as well that just need a smile from a friendly stranger.  

Homework This Week:  

  • Smile to everyone you pass by and lock faces with. 
  • Say hello when you can and if you feel comfortable, and if you aren’t, do it any way because there is no other way that you will learn.
  • Don’t take it personally when someone doesn’t say anything back, pray/wish/hope that their day becomes better and just keep on going.

I hope this post helped you to remember how important when we are out in the world that people are watching us, and even the subtle gestures of a “hello” can do wonders.

We have the power to influence each other, so let’s do it positively and make the world a better place once “hello” at a time.  

Unleash your elegance!   

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Tuesday 5th of October 2021

What does a lady does when there is a big group of people to say hi?

Jennifer Lynn

Saturday 27th of November 2021

I would make sure to get their attention and say hello.