People always say it’s the little things that count. I think that’s true. A pleasant greeting, a smile, or offering a mint when someone is coughing are all things that make daily life more pleasant. A small gesture or kind word can keep you going through your day. I know someone who recently was surprised with a gift of candy and some kind words from a coworker. It made her day, and validated that she is doing a good job. These things say to the other person, “you are valued”, and “you are appreciated”. We all like the feeling of being noticed for our contributions to the smooth running of the workplace and home. We go through our days trying our best to accomplish what needs to be done, while getting along with others and trying to help each other as we can. Surprise acknowledgements of our efforts go a long way toward keeping everyone moving in a positive direction and working together. Sometimes when we are getting frustrated with a task, it’s nice if someone asks if we need help with it. Even if we don’t need help, when someone offers to assist us it’s as if they are saying, “I see your struggles, we’re all in this together”, and it may be just the thing we need to help us refocus and finish satisfactorily. Of course, there are times when we get more annoyed by the offer of help because it feels like an interruption or a criticism; as if we are not capable of doing our job. I think those are feelings that we read into other people’s words and not what was behind the offer of assistance, which then leads us to be out of sorts and ungracious. We need to remind ourselves that an offer of a helping hand is not an indication that we are failing, it is simply another person’s desire to support us in that moment. I am one of those folks who sometimes feels insulted by the offer of help, and I’m trying to remind myself that someone holding out a hand to help is a good thing, a sign of respect and care. Responding to that offer with a smile and either grateful acceptance or gracious refusal is something I’m trying to remember. It doesn’t mean I’m inadequate, it means that maybe I have too many tasks for one person that day and allowing another to do part of them is a good thing. Then when things calm down I can return the favor, or do a little thing such as bring her a cup of coffee. After all, it’s the little things that count.