Warning: Every once in awhile, we do come across those individuals that seem to have an inflated view of themselves. This distorted view is not the one that I write about, today.
When I was in the classroom, I started each year with the story: Have You Filled a Bucket Today? The premise of the story is: Have you shown kindness today? Have your words helped to lift someone up today? It is a great book for children and adults, alike. It makes you become cognizant; to think before you speak. Words have power. They can be used to build someone up or tear someone down. We have to choose. I always say: Choose kind! I wear a bracelet that a good friend gave to me, that sums it up:
Be True. Be You. Be Kind.
Sometimes, people need you to be their mirror. To reflect back to them; their true selves. Be that mirror for them; until they can begin to see it themselves. People are like butterflies...
This is why, anyone that knows me, knows that I share compliments and encouragement,
often. I try to celebrate others as much as I can. BUT, it is always authentic. I do not blow hot air. I also make it a point, to share any affirming words that I hear about someone else. For some reason, people give kudos about an individual, to others, but that individual never hears it. Ex: "I really liked how Jim spoke with his staff at his staff meeting. He really has connected with them!" Well, does "Jim" ever get to hear this? Hmm...
I have learned that some people get uncomfortable when they hear good things about themselves. I am one of them. My first thought is: "Yeah right, what do you want from me? Why are you buttering me up?". But this does not deter me from continuing to encourage or motivate others. On the contrary, people should not be second guessing motives. They should get used to hearing good things about themselves and just say "Thank you" and take it in.
Even though, I first doubt the words; if it comes from a genuine place, it is greatly appreciated and makes a difference. I know that we should be intrinsically motivated but...sometimes it's nice to hear it from an outside source. I took The 5 Love Languages Test a few months ago (if you have never done this, I suggest you do). I didn't even need to take it because I already know what makes me tick: Words of Affirmation. I know this is the reason that I give them out, often.
So, think about your interactions with people today. Colleagues, friends, family, students, strangers. Are you "filling their bucket"? You may just be the only person that does such a thing. Your words may be the only kind thing that individual hears today. You might just be the voice that makes a difference in that person's life. You could be exactly what that person needs at that time. Words are free and quite effortless, but can make a huge impact. Words have power, choose them wisely.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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