There are many good and exciting aspects to growing older, but I have to say that learning how to make others feel good has been one of my most important learning experiences. Love a friend, a child, a partner? Then learn how to make them feel appreciated, bathed in good feelings -- maybe even a little like a rock star. Who, I would like to know, can resist wanting to feel appreciated and adored in an authentic way? No one. This feeling is just too irresistible. I am not suggesting setting up a fan club, hiring groupies or laying it on so thick that you look like a sycophant with questionable motives. I'm suggesting instead that you share your compliments out loud. They do no good if they are left unspoken and unshared.
Consider a few scenarios:
1. Your partner always makes you feel special. You begin to expect this. So what you do is remain mum instead of acknowledging this. Inevitably, what will happen over time is that your partner will look for acknowledgment elsewhere. Sorry, but it's true. I've been around for a bit. How about you consider letting your partner know how absolutely fantastic you feel that s/he has got it going on for you? The outcome, I can assure you, will be that you get treated even better by a partner who starts to feel like a relationship rock star.
2. Your daughter is the absolute bomb and has been ever since she grew out of those surly teen years. In her birthday and greeting cards, she always writes about exactly why she loves you. She writes things like: 'Mom you are always so happy to see me and I just love watching you hold a cup of coffee because you love the feeling of warmth.' Those don't seem like big deals to you? Let me tell you that when you feel noticed and appreciated by your kids, you just might feel like a rock star parent. What a good feeling that is!
3. Do you occasionally have late night anxiety attacks? We all reach that place at times. Who is the friend you call to soothe you and ground you? Have you told that friend what an incredible healer s/he is and how s/he has this incredible ability to soothe your soul? If you haven't, then give it a try. You might just make someone feel like a rock star of a friend.
4. You see a friend that you haven't seen for years for a variety of reasons. There are so many things about that person that you admire, but never told them about. You loved the way that friend made you feel and appreciated the little kindnesses they showed you. Go ahead and say these things out loud to that friend and look in his or her eyes and say it like you mean it. It's important for people to know the impact that they made in your life. You might just send this friend home awash in warmth and feeling like a rock star. It really doesn't take much to make most people feel good. And, if it does then that's a whole other story. That's not a story about rock stars.
5. Sometimes you get a little discouraged about things. Even though your career path is on a solid trajectory you just, well, start doubting yourself. Who is it that you call to share your feelings and doubts? Who scrapes you off the ground, puts the pieces back together and makes you feel like the show must and should go on? In my case, it's my sister-in-law. She just has a way. Whenever I get off the phone with her I feel like anything is possible. Thank you, Amy. You are a rock star sister-in-law.
We all need each other desperately. And, with a little thought and a lot of authentic feedback, we just might be able to make each other feel pretty darn excellent. It doesn't take a stage, a microphone and a ton of applause to make others feel like stars.