Is there anything more human than wanting to feel special, like you matter?
Think back: how many of you had parents or grandparents that would constantly remind you how special you were? How many teachers, friends, family members made you feel like you weren’t putting in enough effort to succeed and make them happy?
Regardless of if you were told you were special or not doing enough, the end result is basically the same. You have developed a need to feel like you are special.
Do you think we are special?
We are but we aren’t. Every single thing that exists in the world is special. But at the same time we are making ourselves less unique and more like each other, we become less different. We are all born with the same, more or less, cognitive and physical abilities. Some of us go on to grow and develop them a little bit more than others, but nonetheless, we are alike – you and I. I am not more special than you. Same goes for all those people who you admire, the ones you have up on that high seat. We are just people.
It’s a scary realization: we are just people. We are people who feel lost, sad, happy, confused, alone. We create our own movie that we star in and we are never sure if our ending will be happy or not. We are scared. We are just people even when we want to be more. We want to feel like we are not fading into the background, that we are a priority in someone else’s life.
Let’s take a minute to reflect: how many times have you called out to someone or voiced your opinion and it just fell to deaf ears?
We want to be special, we want to feel it. We want to reaffirm our want. Is that a crime? Is it bad? Not at all. We are egocentric beings and we do the things we do to be happy, to achieve something. But what is happiness? Is it any more or less than being made to feel special? Probably not. Happiness is the feeling you get when you have achieved something that made you stand out, made you a little more special in the moment. But what exactly is that?
As humans, we feel special when we are included in someone’s life. When they announce or make it apparent that we take up a space in their mind or heart. We are searching constantly for connection. The goals, dreams, wishes, hopes that we have in some way involve others. So many aspects of our lives are dependent on having another person there to experience it with. For being egocentric, we are sure reliant on others. We all want the same thing. We all want someone to acknowledge our presence in a way that is both inviting and warm.
Make people around you feel special.
Smile at the barista making your morning coffee. Ask your coworkers how they have been. Every once in a while check in with your parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles. Text and call the people who you love. Always let people know you are there for them.
It doesn’t have to be dramatic and over the top. Not every gesture has to be grand. It is the little things that matter the most.
There are so many people that we come into contact with. Everyone plays a role, no matter how big or small, they are all part of your story. Imagine the impact we could all make on the world if we just let people in a little bit more. Now, that doesn’t mean telling your life story to your hairdresser, but most of us have walls up so high that it is hard to get around them. We are so busy chasing our own dreams and overlooking the dreams of others. We overlook that human interaction that comes along with making dreams happen is important too.
So, make someone feel special. Notice them, talk to them, be nice to them. Show them that they are not walking their journey alone. Show them the kindness that you want to see. Be a decent human being. Smile. Allow connections to happen. Make an impact.