By: Susan Adams M.Ed.
Did you know that there are only two ways to build your own self-esteem? One is by being listened to with respect. The other is by doing things about which you feel good.
One of the best ways that I know to feel good about ourselves is by doing things to make others feel good.
Unfortunately, many of us have never been taught to share our good feelings or to say nice things to other people about how we see them.
Most of us are concerned at least to some degree with how others see us. We want to be accepted and liked.
It seems that many of us are so concerned with how others see us that we forget to increase the comfort of others by telling them how we see them.
It is the saying of nice things to others that reassures them that we like them and that then causes them to like us–because they like how they FEEL with us.
Don’t take it for granted that others know how you feel. Remember that all of us need to know that we are cared about, needed, and admired. Saying nice things may not be enough. Those things need the accompaniment of a gesture. That can mean a smile or a hug accompanied by, “I’m glad to see you”, “I really like your work, “Thanks, you did a really good job”.
As important as it is to GIVE praise or acceptance, it is equally important to be able to receive it. It is an ego boost to others to be listened to and an insult if you receive positive feedback and you reject it. Learn to say things like, “thanks, I’m glad you like it.” “It’s good to hear that.” “Thank you. I like it too.”
Another part of the art of making others feel good is to ask their opinion. Learn to ask for feedback when you need it-appreciate that the feedback may well enhance your own ability to be successful and the request will cause the person whose opinion you have asked to feel valued as well.
Did you know? When someone says something nice to someone else, the giver receives a boost of serotonin (the brain chemical that makes us feel good), the receiver receives a boost, and anyone watching receives a boost.