Monday, 10 November 2014

Be Nice To People


This is quite a spontaneous blog post. Every time I'm upset or really deeply thinking about things, I like to write, so I thought I'd share with you an experience that happened this morning which led me to think about and considering the way in which we treat others and how we would like to be treated.

This morning I went to get my fringe cut. To tell you the truth, I've probably been to a hairdressing salon once or twice before in my life as a family-friend has cut my hair since I was born. On the very rare occasion when I'm desperate for a hair trim and my usual hairdresser is busy, I'll visit a hair salon to get it cut. I had a full fringe at the start of the year, let it grow out throughout the summer and it was almost at chin-level this morning, so thought it was in need of a re-shape. I phoned a hairdresser this morning asking how much it would cost and if I would have to book an appointment to get it trimmed- she said no, asked what time I was thinking of coming in and said I may have to wait for when a hairdresser was free (which I was completely OK with). 

I'm not all too familiar with hairdressing terminology. I have a fair idea of what thinned/layered/choppy styles are, but couldn't confidently go into a salon and explain to someone exactly what I wanted. I saved 4/5 photos to my phone of celebrities, including Alexa Chung and Bridget Bardot, with middle partings that were shorter in the middle and gradually elongated, flowing into the rest of the hair. I planned on showing these to the hairdresser in the salon. 

As I entered the salon, I immediately felt like the staff were trying to get me in and out of the shop as quickly as they could. When I sat down in the chair, I was thrown a black cape to put over myself and then reached to show her a couple of photos on my phone. I showed her my first photo and started to flick through the others; to which she briefly glanced at the first photo, went to grab her scissors and tried her hardest to look everywhere else in the salon besides looking at what I wanted my hair to look like.  Following this, she messily parted my fringe off from the rest of my hair and chopped away. As this was happening, she was talking to her colleague on the right about their plans for the evening, completely avoiding eye contact with me. I assumed she had finished when she dropped her scissors and took off my black cloak. I checked my fringe and within seconds she came round the corner with my jacket. I barely looked at my hair cut. At this point I was so livid and felt completely tiny and insignificant. I hurriedly grabbed my stuff and paid the hairdresser the 5 pounds she requested. The whole hair cut lasted 3 minutes.

I completely understand hairdressing salons are extremely busy at this time of year with Christmas parties and all - but I think I should have deserved a fraction of the hairdressers attention considering I did phone in advance to ask if I could pop in at a certain time and I paid her for a service (which was, admittedly, truly awful). Of course, I am not speaking for all hair salons, I'm sure the majority of them have friendly and caring staff, but it definitely puts me off visiting salons when I'm treated so insignificantly by a small minority of staff I've had cut my hair in the past.

A couple of public figures have inspired me to make this blog post. Last week, Colleen Ballinger (also known as 'Miranda Sings') made a video called 'Why I have Low Self-Esteem' all about hairdressing staff and make-up artists not devoting their time and patience to their customers. Although I've personally been treated unfairly by staff in salons in the past, it made me think about how people treat others in the bigger picture. Zoe (Zoella) wrote a blog post at the weekend all about the hate comments she has been reading in her daily vlogs, an issue that has made her stop daily vlogging for the time being. Similar videos about the matter were posted by Alfie (PointlessBlog) and Gabby (VelvetGh0st) also.

It really saddens me that some people lack respect towards others. We should use the world we are living in to our advantage to help spread positivity and encourage our peers to do so too. A lot of personal matters recently have made me really think about the way people treat one another. I'm an advocate for the phrase 'Treat others how you would like to be treated' and when a problem arises in my life, I will always think of how I would feel in the other person's shoes before I act. For example, I would never serve a customer at my work with disrespect. I would make an effort to have a conversation with them and be kind to them - not only because I have been trained on how to deal with customers, but because I personally believe it is polite to do so. After my experience at the hairdressers this morning, it encourages me even more to be kind to others in my workplace and in general everyday life because I know it would bring me down if I was treated unfairly in that person's shoes.

I've also realised little gestures can really help make someone else's day. They don't have to be huge gestures. For example, you could tell someone in the changing room in a shop that what they tried on really suits them, pick up and return the bus pass the elderly man dropped in front of you, or simply tell a friend that their new hairstyle looks really good on them. Recently, I've set myself a goal to do something every day to please someone else. Last week, I brought a bag of dresses round to my friend's house as she was struggling to find something to wear that night. Yesterday, I knew my boyfriend had been working every day of the week and had housework to do when he got home, so I took an hour out to do little things like doing the dishes and putting out his bin so he could relax after he finished work. Today, I helped my little sister with her maths homework. Little things really make a difference to other people's day-to-day life. It only takes a couple of seconds to tell a friend their makeup looks nice or half an hour to help a sibling with homework- this small amount of time out will not make a difference to your day, but it definitely will to someone else's. I can guarantee people will remember your good-will gesture too. I remember good gestures that have been rewarded to me - a customer complimented me on my glasses a couple of months ago at work and it really made my day and I still remember what he said every time he visits my work. Knowing you have made a difference to somebody's day will make you feel good in return.

Referring back to Zoe's blog post about hateful comments online, it's very easy to get caught up in criticising someone hatefully over the internet. As much as the internet has its advantages, it has some disadvantages too, which leads to people saying things to others they wouldn't dream of saying those things to in real life. There are plenty of ways you can constructively criticise people without being nasty. Instead of commenting on how awful a YouTube video is to the creator, suggest on ways they can improve- is it the content/camera quality/angle of shot? Not everyone is perfect, and people will actually appreciate your thoughts and consider ways to help them improve. Internet hate is becoming more and more of an issue nowadays and I definitely think people need to take a step back before being hateful towards others - especially content creators who share their lives in exchange for our entertainment. Of course, it's completely normal to not like an individual. We are all different and we were not created to get along with everyone we encounter in the world- but sometimes it's safer to not say anything at all than bring that person down by posting a hateful comment or talking about them behind their back.

It's not very often I experience being disrespected as the majority of people I interact with in every day life are very caring and positive people, but it's only the small minority who have been unfair to me recently (as well as public figures addressing their worries about hateful comments) that encourage me to speak out about how we should treat others.

I think I've completely rambled on in all directions and I apologise if this blog post is a bit mis-matched, but I hope you understand there were a few things I had to get off my chest.

Please let me and others know of your thoughts on this issue - I'd love to hear your view. Also help spread positivity by sharing any kind gestures you have witnessed/have done to help others in the comments!

Content mentioned in the post:
'Why I have low self-esteem' - Colleen Ballinger
'Let's Clear This Up' - Gabriella Lindley
'You Need to calm down...' - PointlessBlogVlogs
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