Who Wants to Attract Flies Anyway?
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
Honey Does Not Attract The Most Flies
The old saying that you can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar is only half right. The truth is that shit seems to attract the most flies overall; followed closely by a dead cat, rotting garbage, and finally honey. Vinegar, in case you didn’t know, doesn’t seem to attract any flies at all. The old saying really should be that everything attracts more flies than vinegar.
Of course, since we’re not trying to attract flies, but rather working to improve our relationships, we probably want to forego the shit, dead cat, and rotting garbage in favor of the honey.
Honey, by the way, is a little thing; and in all relationships, it’s the little things that matter.
Do you want to have a positive impact on everyone you meet? Try changing the things that are free, easy, and seem incredibly inconsequential to us nose-to-the-grindstone-kinda-guys. For example, courtesy costs you nothing. It’s always been 100% free to treat others with a courteous respect equal to the level of courteous respect they desire.
Showing someone the courteous respect they desire has a truly magical effect on relationships.
Humans desire respect. They also desire courtesy. Most people will take respect over courtesy, though everyone would prefer you show them both. (You’ve probably heard a few self-righteous bosses over the years utter that they’d rather be respected than liked. Hint: That’s just a defense mechanism. Deep down, they really want to be loved. So, the next time someone says that, just give them a hug.)
Given that respect and courtesy are free – and if people really want this from their interactions with you – why not mix in a little of both every time you come into contact with another human?
While I once believed that stopping to be courteous to coworkers, vendors, and subordinates was a waste of my time and theirs, I discovered at some point in my career that these little free niceties, when genuine, can actually make everything more efficient. The 32 extra seconds each day that it takes you to say “thank you” 28 times actually gain you exponential amounts of productivity. So try it. Beginning right now.
The plan for the rest of this day, week, month, and year is to mix in one genuinely courteous, respectful response to everyone you encounter. Everyone. Do this and you probably won’t need any of the other lessons in this book.