“Make Me Feel Important”

Go, go, go!! Busy, busy, busy! And check your phone. Any messages? Yikes! Check your email. That project! Get it done.

Sometimes the hectic pace of life is overwhelming. Feels like there are so many things that we must do. So by the end of the day, we are exhausted. We collapse on the couch, and lose ourselves in the television. Then it’s sleep and repeat.

Does this sound familiar? Yes. For sure.

Do you know one of the main reasons it’s so exhausting? Because running on the treadmill of “Get it done!” creates the mindset of ‘Do it all by yourself.’ We often only connect with other people if we have to. And then only long enough to handle the issue.

So what’s the problem with that? Here it is: Our most basic human need is our need to connect with other people.

How do I know this for sure? Just remind yourself about 9/11. When the people that day knew they were facing death, they did not take the time to check their bank balances or admire their list of achievements. Each one called the person they loved to say “I love you, and goodbye”. And over and over again in a disaster, that is what happens. Everything else is peeled away to the most crucial essential need – human connection.

But in our daily lives, we can become blinded by that treadmill. And we feel successful if we complete our ‘To-Do’ List. But that is not true success.

Let me explain. My friend Sherrie Barrett worked closely with Mary Crowley, the founder of Home Interiors. Mary described our need for human connection very well when she said, “Imagine that everyone you meet is wearing a sign that says, Make me feel important.” You’ll notice that there is nothing in there about a ‘To-Do’ list, in spite of Mary’s phenomenal success as a businesswoman. Why? Because Mary realized that there is nothing quite as wonderful as someone taking their time to make you feel important.

Here’s an example:

Let’s imagine you’ve made it through the ‘automated messages’ recording, and you’re talking to a Real, Live Person! And this person has great listening skills, and cares about your issue, and works with you to solve it. You’re successful. The call is now finished. And do you notice how great you feel? Why is that? Because someone jumped off the ‘Tell them the Answer/Solve the Problem and Move On’ treadmill, and took the time to make you feel important while they helped solve your problem. And what a good feeling that is.

When someone makes us feel important, caring about how we’re doing, whether our day is going well or not, it’s priceless. Their caring can even give us more energy. We walk away with a smile.

The idea is simple, and the result is so amazing. When someone lets us know that we matter, it lifts us up mentally and physically. In fact, it helps us keep going, no matter how long and stressful our ‘To-Do’ List happens to be.

Here’s another example: There is a supermarket very near my home. It’s quite nice, and has the products I need. And the people are very pleasant. There is a second supermarket at a much greater distance. The two are comparable, except that every single time I’m in the second store, whoever is my checkout clerk asks how my day is going, and really listens to my answer. They might ask if I have anything special coming up later that day, or how the rest of my day looks, or wish me a great day with an upcoming grandkid’s visit that I’ve mentioned. And they do this while quickly and smoothly checking me out. Two guesses which supermarket receives my business. Why? Because they make me feel important, they lift my spirits, and I leave there with a smile and renewed energy. It’s well worth the extra driving time.

Now for the very best news. We can give others our own focused attention. We have the ability to show them that they matter, too. And I promise it’s such a joy to watch practically everyone’s face light up when they feel that connection with you, when they feel that they matter to another human being.

I just remember Mary Crowley, and imagine that everyone we meet is wearing a sign that says Make Me Feel Important.

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