I have mixed opinions on this one. I was definitely YOU before I went to my second college. But although my second college was an HBCU, there were a lot of people there from the south. And they always speak…ALWAYS. You see it enough and it becomes a habit.

I have interviewed some celebrities before, but the two who will forever stand out as the nicest to me are Anthony Hamilton and Heather Headley. I do not know what Trinidad is like, but clearly Anthony Hamilton is from the south. These two went out of their way to be nice and acknowledge me immediately. Heather insisted on learning my name. Anthony was in a wheelchair when I first saw him, but hobbled his way up to hug me.

It made me reevaluate my own approach. I joined Toastmasters and am often the host or membership recruiter. By default, I am one of the first people that are seen so I try to make a friendly first impression.

I get why it is a nuisance, but seeing how I felt when people did it to me made me want to be nicer to strangers in turn.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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