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Politely Offering Assistance

By
Trent Armstrong,

People need assistance on a daily basis but many times are uncomfortable asking for help. It could be fear that hinders them or just the thought that they might be able to overcome through stick-to-it-tiveness. Today, I'll help you become someone who is not only interested in helping others but also looks willing to help just in case the opportunity arises.

Hold It!

I think I might say this about once every other minute or so, but manners are not about me expecting everyone else to follow the rules. Manners are all about making others feel important. And a great way to show someone they are important is to offer assistance, especially when they might not be expecting it. I'm not talking about guys versus girls here. Everyone needs assistance sometimes.

Let's look at some examples. We talked in an earlier episode about holding an elevator door for someone, but that should also be applied to just about any door. Always check to see if someone is approaching behind you, and if the person is within 5 or 10 steps of the door, you might hold it open for them. At the very least, hold the door as you go through so they do not have to fully open the door themselves. It might seem trivial, but this gesture is always seen as a show of good will.

Being Available

Something that can be of great assistance, especially to someone who is elderly or someone who has a child, is offering to take their grocery cart for them when they have finished loading their items into the car. An international survey I did of our local supermarket parking lot indicated that people just don't seem to have the huge amount of time is takes to return their carts to the cart corral. It's also a stress point for someone with a child to figure out how to keep the kid safe, get the stuff in the car, and get the buggy taken care of. Don't spend too much time waiting around for the opportunity to help this person, that could be seen as creepy, but if you pass by someone who looks to be at the cart dispersion phase of the ordeal, offering to take the cart can take a huge weight off that person's shoulders.

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