It sounds easy right? To tell someone what we think of them. To tell someone I’m grateful for you, I appreciate you, I’m proud of you. Yet to really express not just what and to include the why requires a level of vulnerability and risk that often leaves us uncomfortable. So we stop at:
“I’m proud of you.”
“I’m grateful for you.”
“I appreciate you.”
“I love you.”
The power of connection is to include the “why” or the “how”. I really felt the power of this of type of conversation when I said to my 6 year old grand daughter, “I’m proud of you, Autumn.” She paused, looked at me puzzled and said, “Why are you proud of me?” So I proceeded to share with her how I was proud in how she was caring to the other person, how she wanted to do the right thing and then detailed what that was. I simply gave the details and answered why I was proud.
This puzzled 6 year old, began to smile, she lit up with pride and gave me a big hug. It was only through that deeper conversation could she feel what I was feeling and why. I know that was with a 6 year old and not very risky on my part and what a lesson.
Yet how many times to we stop our communication with just the phrase. It’s only through the vulnerability to express fully can we be seen and give the gift to someone else that they were seen. So next time you hear yourself saying, “I’m proud of you”, “I’m grateful for you”, “I love you” so deeper. Tell them how do they add value to your world? What do you appreciate about them, what value to they bring to you? Why are you proud and what do you love about them?
It’s made a difference for me and I’m sure it will for you as well. Thank Autumn for the lesson.