At breakfast the other day, a close friend mentioned that a Japanese exchange student would be staying with them soon. In order to prepare for the visit, they were brushing up on their Japanese to welcome the student.
At first I thought “who brushes up on their Japanese?” but I pushed that reaction down to listen to the phrases.
The phrases began with “nice to meet you” and “I am (insert your name)” pretty standard interaction when meeting with new people.
It was the third phrase that caught my attention.
“It is a pleasure to meet you” or more literally “please look favorably on me”.
I was struck by the importance of this request: please look favorably on me. It is a simple request. Essentially be nice to me and treat me well, but for me it went a little deeper.
Please look favorably on me includes not reading into my actions and assuming negative motives. Please look favorably on me encourages others to look towards the positive and not simply pointing out my flaws or shortcomings. Please look favorably on me asks for the benefit of the doubt and a level of grace for who I am and what I do.
How many times do we connect with others for the first time, or for the hundredth time that this simple reminder would provide some helpful ground-rules for the interaction.
There are a lot of people who I have to interact with over the next few days that provides numerous opportunities to try this out.
What simple phrase would help you? How can you provide a simple request to assist you in your relationships? What are the few words that could reset the dynamics in your workplace or family?
Having the courage to utter the phrase may be hard, but the reward may be worth the risk of being vulnerable.
I will let you know how it goes…but first, please look favorably on me.