Friday, October 10, 2014

How do you make people feel?

 
I read this quote today, and I'm sorry I couldn't get the picture to upload, but it went like this.
"How you make other people feel about themselves says a lot about you."
This inspired my blog post today. It will be short and sweet.
If you died and your family was in charge of your grave stone, what would it say? What about if your friends were in charge of the message? What about your enemies? Because really, putting family and loved ones aside, I want to know--and I really want you to think about this- - what would a cashier at the grocery store say about you? Or your banker? Your neighbor?  Your coworker? That one girl you had a fight with? That one boy who hurt you?
I want you to think of someone you've had a conflict with and imagine what they would say, right now, if they were to give a speech at your funeral.
Here is what I think, and you can take it for what it's worth. What people would say about you when you're gone should matter a whole lot more than what they say about you today. This goes to prove that how you make people feel says more about you than how they make you feel. Make sense?
Here is an example.
I know a person who claims to be a loving compassionate person, and yet I have only ever had extremely negative encounters with them. I feel negative around them. I feel a sense of hatred emanating out from them. This person engages in a lot of negative activity, like gossiping and lying and stealing. Therefore, I don't feel good when I'm around them. I start to feed off their habits and lose a part of me. I stoop to their level and mimic their poor behavior. What would I say about this person when they are gone? I'd probably say that if they were the only Christian I had ever met, I would want nothing to do with Christianity. That is how they made me feel.
I am in constant fear of human err. We all make mistakes every day, but when I discovered that my influence on people can be either positive or negative, I have made an effort to right wrongs and set straight bent feelings with anyone I encounter.
Sometimes this means giving people second chances even if they don't deserve it. Sometimes it is letting them win. It is being the bad guy in their eyes, but being the bigger person in everyone else's. It is not defending rumors about yourself. It is letting people take advantage of you. It is losing friends because you don't have room for their negative conduct in your life anymore. It is being alone.
But it is being happy.
When I talk to happy people and ask them how they achieved such a peace of mind, they tell me these things..the steps they took...so much of it is trying to make other people happy. I used to find this so strange. How can making other people feel good about themselves make me feel good? Well, it does. And I would have nothing but happy things to say about these people after they are gone.
That is my goal.
I know I've hurt people. I let people down. I say unorthodox comments. I forget people's birthdays. I don't show up to parties. I miss calls. And I'll be the first to admit I have a bad tendency of talking about myself. But I can honestly say there is not a single person I haven't tried to find restitution with when a conflict has taken place. And that is on either end. I am confrontational, and life is too short for me to feel misery or feel like I've inflicted pain on someone. Someone taught me that communication is key to human relationships. Here's what I've learned. I will ALWAYS try to talk it out. Even if that only consists of an, "I'm sorry." And we never speak again. It says a lot about a person who wants to apologize and move on. I always envied that characteristic and have been adopting it ever since. There will be people I never want to see again, but I will not let them have power over my feelings, nor do I want to send negative feelings their way. I've stopped worrying so much about receiving compliments as I have about giving them. I don't fret so much about loyalty as I do about being loyal. I care more about being friendly than having friends...an on and on.
These are the lessons I've learned from happy people and wish we could all implement them a little better every day.
What will that say about me? I don't know.
What would it say about you?