Most of us of a certain age remember Sally Field saying something like this when she accepted an Academy Award (hard to believe that was back in 1985 for Places in the Heart. And I checked, she didn’t say, “You like me. You really like me,” which I think is what most of us remember.). The point is that despite all of her career successes, she genuinely seemed pleased to be so esteemed.
The title of today’s entry could also be about the song Love the One You’re With (Stephen Stills, 1970, covered by The Isley Brothers in 1971) and the vicissitudes of dating. But I’m talking about the importance of being appreciated. Validated.
I’m very pleased to have a new voiceover client who keeps telling me how happy his client is with my work and how much they love my voice.
Yes, yes, we’ve all heard about true happiness and contentment coming from within. That you have to love yourself before you can love another. How it’s all about living in the moment, enjoying the journey and what you have, not the outcome. That having the biggest house, most money or receiving the highest accolades won’t make you happy. We could spend all day staring at ourselves in the mirror repeating affirmations about how great we are or how much power we have (like Amy Adam’s Rose in Sunshine Cleaning)…maybe that would help.
Who doesn’t like to know they’ve done a great job? Who wouldn’t want to hear the guy they’re dating say they think you’re beautiful or, “No, those pants don’t make you look fat?” Maybe for some it’s enough just to bask in the glow of the verbiage. But if you’re paying attention, a compliment delivered the wrong way can make you look askance at the giver and/or wonder about their sincerity or what they are trying to get you to do. And a vast part of communication is via body language. Many studies/experts say that the meaning of a message comes 7% from the actual words, 38% how they’re spoken and 55% from body language. So in today’s world of e-mail, IM and texting, assessing the true intent and meaning behind nice sentiments typed quickly on a tiny keyboard can be difficult.
The value of a compliment can live on long after the words are spoken. I’m collecting testimonials from satisfied clients to help attract new clients. I’ve heard of authors making lists of great things readers, contest judges or industry professionals have said about their work to refer to in down times or to help get past rejections.
So the next time you think someone has done a good job, if someone means something special to you, take a moment to say so. As they say, pay it forward.