A guiding principle for a life worth living is in how we make others feel.
In the age of the internet and mobile apps, the chance to make others feel valued in our relationships may not come enough. As psychologist and philosopher William James once said, “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” Gratitude for loved ones, spouses, friends and other closest relationships is often recognized by how we feel by their words and actions. Recognizing the importance of how we feel in relationships can then be a motivator to make others in relationships feel valued, appreciated, good, encouraged and believed in. Not simply out of an intention to flatter, making others feel all these good ways has the ability to change people’s perspective, uplift, change for the better and so many other possible good outcomes.
Below are three ways how to make others feel in order to strengthen your relationships:
1. Valued and Appreciated
Gratefulness develops in relationships where we feel genuinely valued. This begins with the relationship with ourselves. Self-value means placing interest in our good qualities, gratefulness for our abilities and strengths and engaging in positive self-talk.
Beyond ourselves, our immediate circles of family, friends, co-workers, colleagues and more have potential to make us feel valued. Such relationships grow over time and require effort. With the focus to have the other person in our relationships feel valued, we can shift our attention to our words and actions in these relationships. Why not acknowledge others’ milestones, achievements, and character from a genuine place? This can add depth and breadth to the relationship. It can make others feel good by feeling valued. By appreciating the feeling of being valued by others, we can reciprocate the words, actions and behavior in return. Not simply because it’s a good thing to do (which can be true, too), but because making others feel valued and appreciated is a principle you value.
The ability to make another feel that they are ‘good,’ that they have an innate good nature, is priceless. For parents, this is one of the best ways to make your kids genuinely feel, which can have positive effects by leaps and bounds. If a child feels ‘good,’ they can feel comfortable in themselves and remain true to who they are, which can be the best parenting lesson of all.
Whether you think another deserves to be made to feel ‘good’ could come into question. If so, just remember that pain and love are felt by all, while personalities vary distinctly and life circumstances come in different shapes and sizes for all. Just as well, individuals react differently to various opportunities and challenges. Making a person feel good might give them the chance to shine through.
3. Encouraged and Believed In
Teachers, for some, are known to motivate their students to go for their dreams. What if this motivation was given out freely and, at the same time, genuinely? People would line up to help them feel this way, especially when no one in their familiar orbit is dishing out the support. For those you care about, encouraging words in their character, strengths and more is priceless. Keep in mind these should come from a genuine place. At the same time, encouragement and belief in a person’s ability to grow, heal, change for the better and improve are perhaps even more important than how they are at any one given time. Teaching these resilient traits reflects an understanding of the storms and fragility of life. Look at it this way. Reminding someone that they can always grow for the better is like giving them a winning lottery ticket—that person can do anything with hard work, practice, and patience.
Want to get started on developing the great talent and skills of making others feel the above ways? Try these three tips:
Forgive and focus on making others feel all these great ways (see above). Beginning the new year with optimism for your relationships might be just what you need.
Plant these seeds of supportive words and actions within all your circles, especially those that matter most to you.
Don’t worry if the feeling is not reciprocated at first. Remember, people have different ways of reacting to genuine support and kindness. The fact that you tried instills the habit and helps achieve making others feel all these ways as a guiding principle for you.