The first thing that comes to mind is we can tell them.
Then I started to think back across the past year at what had been most effective in letting me know that people loved me & I asked myself the question, “Is telling someone enough?”
You see, there have been many people that have said similar things to me but I am left with two camps in which I place those people:
- CAMP 1: Those who have told me & demonstrated it
- CAMP 2: Those who have told me but done nothing about it
This may seem a bit black-and-white & I appreciate that it is too easy to over simplify things, but backing-up what I say with what I do is important for me as I act towards others & it is also important with those who act towards me.
I would never take away the value of telling people how important they are & how much they are loved & for some that is a critical first step.
Sure if we meet people as a one-off (such as through business) there isn’t always time to back-up what is said but saying something positive & encouraging is better than saying nothing at all.
However, if I am looking to develop any kind of relationship with someone then my words may be a good start but the true impact only really comes when I demonstrate what I say through what I do & who I am. Trust is essential for strong relationships & trust is built on reliability: doing what I say. Authenticity is another attribute many look for without realising it.
Relationships developed on trust allow for hiccups along the way: misunderstanding; mistakes; misplaced intentions. However, if we do not build relationships on trust it’s a bit like the proverbial house built on sand: when the tests come (such as misunderstanding; mistakes; misplaced intentions) there are no foundations (no evidence or experience on which to base our assessment of the situation) so our house (relationship) is in great danger of collapsing or being quite badly damaged. As we know, rebuilding work takes longer than the first time because there is debris that needs removing & lots of other things to check before building can recommence.
I’m trying to learn that demonstration is so important as back-up to my words. If I can’t back-up what I say in a practical way then I almost undermine the foundations I’m trying to build.
Until next time …