“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Have you ever thought about how you make people feel?
I guess it’s quite a hard question to answer unless you ask people directly. And perhaps it’s a question which might sound pretty strange.
‘Excuse me, how do I make you feel?’
You might have to prepare yourself for all sorts of answers (if people choose to be honest with you that is!!)
Could you guess what some people might say?
It’s a really good question in self awareness. Am I aware of how others might feel around me? Do they feel safe, valued, inspired, loved and cared for. Do they feel good being around me? Or might they feel intimidated, insecure, embarrassed, frustrated or angry when I am about.
Do people like being with me? Or would they rather get away from me given half a chance?
(I am sure people have felt both with me – none of us are perfect. And to be honest some people just won’t like us however hard we try).
When I first saw the Maya Angelou quote, it really struck a chord with me. I first considered how true it is as I thought about different people I have met throughout my life.
However, it also really inspired me to want to be the kind of person that people like to be around. I want people to come away with a positive feeling from being with me. I want people to feel like I am interested in them and care about them.
“Whatever you want for yourself, do it for others. If you make even small acts of compassion a daily habit, you will feel empowered & liberated from your own hurts & disappointments.” – Nick Vujicic
I don’t think we consider enough how we make people feel.
Over the past 21 months I have spent a lot of time in hospital and seen A LOT of different doctors and medical professionals and to be honest there is whole wide range of feelings I have experienced from being with or around them.
Some doctors made me feel valued, cared for, like they wanted to help, that I was a person not just a patient, that they were interested in my case, that they wanted to understand my condition and were there to support me on my journey.
Others made me feel intimidated, scared, anxious, doubted, misunderstood, inconvenient and frankly really upset!
Same job title,
Some people make us feel good, others can make us feel bad.
Some have a way of doing things and saying things that helps you to feel valued.
Others make you feel very under valued.
Now I have to say here that I think we need to be careful about letting other people dictate how we feel. We can’t ALWAYS blame others for making us ‘feel bad’. We can sometimes misunderstand others because of our own insecurities.
Sometimes it’s not actually them with the issue.
And we need a level of self awareness to know the difference.
We need humility to keep ourselves in check. To ask ourselves if we could have done or said things better. Pride will always leave us feeling hurt and we then blame others for it.
And yet it is inevitable that we are not going to feel good when the experience is bad. I am not going to feel cared for and safe if the other person seems disinterested or I feel under valued and misunderstood.
However, all this is only relevant if we understand that we can rarely change the way others behave towards us. We can perhaps influence it by being respectful, understanding and kind.
But we can’t MAKE others treat us well!
The only thing we can control is ourselves. We can only take responsibility of our own behaviour and responses. Sometimes we could all learn a bit more self control.
“Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain – and most fools do. But it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” – Dale Carnegie
So lets keep asking ourselves that question and pondering:
How do I really make others feel?
Do you try to look for ways to encourage, appreciate or compliment others? Perhaps saying “You look great today or you did that really well.” Do you try and look for the best in people, rather than just seeing the worst? Do You appreciate what they DO do for us or just point out all their failures and faults?
How can I make others feel comfortable around me?
What do they take away from time spent with me?
They are really good questions to chew on, ponder and consider. To be aware of next time we meet someone new.
We won’t always get it right, we have all had people misunderstand us. Or heard that people felt intimidated by us. I also believe people can sometimes completely misread us as we can others.
But it’s all about our hearts. I have to think about how I am acting around others and do my best to give people a positive vibe to take away. I want to be more self aware so that I get it right.I need the humility to see things from others perspectives rather than just my own limited understanding.
I want to be understanding instead of judgemental.
I want to learn to listen better rather than ‘speak my mind’ and ‘share my opinions’ AT people.
I want to think about how I can encourage others and appreciate what they do instead of criticise what they don’t.
Most of all I want to be a person people feel good being around. I know I may not always achieve this or get it right.
BUT I SURE CAN TRY!!
How about we try together!
It’s amazing how differently people respond when we are kind. You never know, you might just become the highlight of someones bad day and your small act of kindness may well subsequently send ripples throughout the conversations and actions of many others throughout their day.
“People will forget what you SAID, people will forget what you DID, but people WILL NEVER FORGET how you made them FEEL.”