Today I overheard a man talking on the phone, saying “I don’t want you to feel unappreciated for everything you do,” and here’s what I wanted to tell him: Instead of telling people how you don’t want them to feel, treat them in ways that have them feel how you do want them to feel.
I’m guessing this man wants whoever is on the other end of the call to feel appreciated, and a great way to do that is to acknowledge and appreciate them!
Say things like, “Wow! I see how much you do for me/us/the company and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate everything that you do.” Or, “I don’t even know the half of what you do and I’m forever grateful for ALL of it – both the parts I see and the parts I may never even know you did, but that make my life so much easier.” Or, “I really want you to know how much I appreciate all that you do. Is there anything I can say or do that will help you really get how much I feel that?”
Most of us want the people in our lives to know how much we love and appreciate them. However, most of us rarely take the time to offer praise (consistently).
Yesterday I was feeling extra-grateful for my amazing childcare provider and I sent her this text:
“We are so lucky to have you in our lives. Part of what I love about that last story (referring to a conversation she had with my son, that she had shared with me via text) is the way it shows how you respect the kids, and how they are able to do more things because they feel your respect of them. You bring so much fun as well as new perspectives, and I feel very grateful.”
It took me all of 2 minutes and honestly, it felt a little vulnerable.
But I didn’t tell you that to show you how I’m such a good person, but to let you know this is something I had to learn. Criticism comes easily to me and praise takes a little more energy. Not because I don’t feel it – it’s just not my habitual groove.
So the next time you are thinking a nice thought about someone, I invite you to tell them. Right then. Text, call, Facetime, send them a video. I don’t care how you do it – just do it!