Tell Them How You Feel!


These days, we're bombarded with tales and videos of people "going off," telling everyone in a restaurant, store, or neighborhood how angry they are at that moment. A local restaurant owner actually closed her business in the middle of the Memorial Day rush because customers were so rude to her staff, who were running their legs off trying to keep up. People (some people) feel entitled to say whatever they want, based on their perceptions and opinions at a given moment.

How about we do the opposite?

Tell people what's going on that's good. Tell people what you like about them. Tell people they're doing a good job.

In the past week, I got two communications, one by mail and one on Facebook. Former students wrote, out of the blue, to tell me how much I meant to them back in the day when they sat in my class for a year. I've been retired from teaching for twenty years, so that happened a long time ago. It still meant a lot to me to hear it.

I try to do my own version of the feel-good thing, telling friends what they're good at and how much I enjoy our time together. I thank store clerks for their help. I tell the person who takes my blood or administers my COVID booster that they're good at their job (If they're not, I keep quiet about it.) I wave at the mail deliverer, the deputy on patrol, and the garbage man.

None of it costs me anything, but I'm willing to bet that, like me, most people enjoy hearing nice things about themselves and the work they do. Even a friendly wave says, "I see you, and you matter."


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