“You can’t get me not to like you,” says Vince Vaughn to his condescending boss in The Internship. 

“I am not having a beer with you,” his boss replies coldly, storming off. 

“We’ll have five!” Vaughn exclaims joyfully, almost sprinting down the corridor to catch up.


It means a lot when someone is tenacious and intentional about connecting with you. A simple “I’d love to have a coffee with you!” gives a precious feeling of affirmation, as does an invitation for a meal or party. The fridge gets rudely plastered with notes of thank-you’s and birthday invites, so you can have those moments of private appreciation and excitement every time you get the milk out. Or the hummus, whichever food group you live off. 

Agree with me: receiving an uplifting text can change your mood. You feel warm and valued, and if you’re stuck in traffic alone, you consider giving yourself a squeeze around the shoulders, because you want to give someone a hug, and it might as well be yourself. It’s also particularly lovely when someone sends you a friend or follow request, because before you’ve even downed your chamomile tea, they’re already reaching out to connect, and build you up. Names are powerful too, because when someone uses yours, you feel respected and in truth: important. It’s nice and that blessed person becomes very likeable and shuffles into your memory enveloped in fondness.

I was eating nachos last week (Madison: exposed), and my friend offhandedly remarked, “I never really send friend requests to people, I kinda just wait for them to come to me.” Seconds before my chip got overloaded with salsa and broke in half, I realized that passivity has become a hall of residence in our community, as proactively encouraging others has evolved into an expensive side dish that we can’t afford. To initiate a handshake takes courage and effort, because you have to leave the safety of your pockets and risk the horrible circumstance of being ‘left hanging’ -  oh, but a handshake is so well received, and usually appreciated (I said usually because a sweaty handshake is honestly, terrible). It takes the same faith to forge any moment of kinship or communication. 

I want to leave little behind, other than loud welcomes, kind messages, and generous invitations. I’ve never, ever been offended by someone suggesting we have lunch, or someone yelling ‘hey!’ when I turn up for a meeting. I’m grateful to all those people who have welcomed me and given me hugs I unknowingly needed, but the circle of life indicates that we be those supporters and encouragers for other people. Yes! I’ll follow you back! I’ll give you a hug and be really, really excited to see you! Yes, yes, because you’re great! 

Becoming an initiator takes a shift of perspective, because you’re not waiting for someone to brighten your day, you’ve just decided: today I am sunshine. All the wonderful moments of connection you wish could happen, can happen because of you – dig the paddle into the water, and watch the droplets fly, as you swerve your glistening kayak over the waves. You’re travelling away from selfish indifference, and towards the revival of thoughtful and benign interactions. 

If I ever meet you, it’ll be shambles – we’ll both be yelling “HELLO FRIEND” as loud as we can, and as soon as we get to each other, we’ll be competing for who can give the warmest hug. We’ll drown each other in supportive comments on Facebook, and almost suffocate from coffee and lunch invites. Our phones will be overflowing from supportive messages, and our Instagram pages might erupt from the amount of likes we’ll be desperately giving each other. Terrible, really. 

 Mads xx


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  2. I could feel the warmth coming from you as I read this post, you sound like such a sweet person!

    Becoming an initiator takes a shift of perspective, because you’re not waiting for someone to brighten your day, you’ve just decided: today I am sunshine.

    Really loved that line above, I'm going to remind myself this constantly. I try my best to be the initiator but sometimes I hold back as it can be quite embarrassing when the person is quite icy in return or totally ignores (which has happened to me online before). But it's a risk worth taking I suppose! Awesome post. xx

    Coco Bella Blog 

    1. Hey thank you for this thoughtful comment! Definitely worth the risk x


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