I remember an exercise I did at a church function in high school. We broke up into groups and were assigned names of people from the other groups. We had to come up with a list of things we liked about that person -- what we thought were funny, kind, chracteristics we admired. Anything. And then share them with the big group all together for them to hear.
What I didn't expect was how I would feel hearing the affirming things that the group said about ME. I was floored. People think THAT about me?? I mean, so often, we know our friends hang out with us, like us, or maybe we don't know if someone likes us. Hearing things like, "she always makes us laugh", "she makes these funny facial expressions that crack us up" (hmm, we know about this don't we?) was a total game changer for me. I always felt awkward, unattractive, klutzy. Now, I realized, people liked those silly qualities!
I came away from that feeling so full. What a great exercise. We need affirmation all the time. Some people are shy of compliments. Some people are compliment whores (ahem, I don't know what you are talking about!). But whether it is a spoken word, a written note, or an action, affirmation is what gives us that feeling of, "yep, I'm worth it". Not in a L'Oreal kind of way folks.
I want my children to feel affirmation every day. I want to smile to them when I walk in the room. Or they come home from school, I want them to see me happy to see them. I want my husband to walk in the door after a long day at work, and know that I appreciate him. But this often takes effort after a long tiring day at the office. It’s a work in progress.
Nevertheless, take my advice, share affirmation whenever you get the chance. Tell your children, your spouse, your mom, what you appreciate them for.
Share writers that you love. Pieces of work that touch you. If you think they are 'too popular', 'too big' to care – this is so not true. I look at pages with thousands more fans than me, and I know that they enjoy compliments, too.