A Turkish proverb professes ‘No road is long without good company’. Good company is a necessary and enriching ingredient in our lives. In my experience, good company refreshes me, elevates me and does wonders for the soul. “Where can I find such people?” you ask. Well, the secret is in you. The aroma of good company lies within you. Through sharing your fragrant words, your warm radiance, and your sweet presence, you will bloom in companionship. With the impending holiday season, we may find ourselves in the presence of company that may or may not have a slight stench to it. So, how can we be stellar examples of good company?
Like bees to honey, good minds attract good company. Be mindful and excuse yourself from the presence of shallow conversations. I consider my own time to be worthy. I do this through my conscious decision choosing to gift it to good company, and allow the infusion of genuine people and their worthy words to seep in me. My love language is quality time, so I have high expectations when others spend time with me. However, I have to remind myself that not all company is alike. My introvert status also means I have to withdraw from constant company to recharge. Being mindful of yourself and your company will allow both sides to flourish and meet the needs and desires of both parties.
Your presence is your trademark in this world. No one else can substitute nor replicate your shine. I am a huge advocate in being present. I still have temptations to resort to the comfort of social media and technology (which have amazing uses). However, in retrospect, my best times have been when I’ve been present, including being with people I love. Make that long-promised coffee date happen. Turn the phone facedown on the table or better still, leave it in your bag. Lean forward and indulge in their presence. Good company leaves you feeling refreshed and fragrant when you part.
A smile is a great initiator for conversations. Eye contact can be scary but it is a wonderful quality of good company. Here’s a tip, look at the person’s forehead if their eyes are too terrifying. Mirroring the other person’s body language is another example of showing interest in their company. A nod goes a long way. Mind you, a misplaced nod is a good indicator someone is not listening. Over the years of learning to initiate conversations with strangers (travelling alone is a master class in this art), I’ve learned open-ended questions are better than closed-ended questions. Instead of ‘Are you from here?’ you may ask ‘Whereabouts are you from?’ This opening question led me to a fascinating conversation about someone’s British ancestry and cultural differences between her and her Irish husband.
Good company is a great way to inform yourself to different viewpoints of the world. The art of discussion is dwindling. We are saturated with information left, right and centre. Too often we get the wide and vast version, but not the detailed and in-depth description. This saturation also encourages us to be sitting ducks, all knowing, but not all thinking.
Good company asks questions, debates, and provides a safe environment where thoughts can be shared. This environment does not mean you have to agree with everything your company believes in. However, it does mean that you can entertain the thoughts without accepting it. We are all crafted with unique thoughts and it would be a shame to not share them.
Above all, you alone keep yourself company. Learn to enjoy your own solitude and your own silence. We can run from our own company by distracting ourselves. Take a moment to indulge in your own world. As you learn of others by being with them, open your heart and learn about yourself in your quietude. Good company is as much about the noise as it is the silence.
– image credit: Death To The Stock Photo