Three years ago I posted a YouTube video called ‘People I Find Beautiful’, and in it, I went through a list of around 50 friends, family members and acquaintances, and spoke a bit about what I found beautiful about each person. My reason for doing this was that I had watched another YouTube video a few days earlier that was a social experiment regarding beauty, and if I remember correctly, people were told that they were beautiful, and many did not believe it. It’s sad to me that I can see so many beautiful traits in people, but they cannot see these themselves, and so that was why I decided to make the video.
Three years later – so this month – I posted another ‘People I Find Beautiful’ video because of the new people that have entered my life and because I wanted to make the point that even if you are just an acquaintance, you have still played an important role in my life. I think sometimes people tend to view themselves as “just the Economics kid” or “the guy from work”, not realising that when they smiled at their co-worker last week and asked about their boss’s daughter’s school concert, they really made a huge difference in those lives. I think though, because we don’t tell our acquaintances how significant their actions are in our lives, most people continue feeling insignificant and unseen. They don’t realise that their small actions make a daily difference.
To be honest, when I posted the first ‘People I find Beautiful’ video, I did feel kind of vulnerable about the whole thing. It is scary to tell people what we like about them for a number of reasons:
People don’t do this in general, so we’re drawing attention to ourselves.
People will feel embarrassed by our words.
Our words may be interpreted as flirting.
We may look like we want validation and attention.
It’s scary telling people that we care about them.
We may be ridiculed for caring.
Our feelings may be unrequited.
People already know how great they are, so our words won’t make a difference.
Having posted those videos now, and witnessing the results, I can tell you that there have been no negatives that have come from telling people what I like about them. People feel happier and better about themselves when they are recognised for their amazing actions and traits. Even the strongest people – who I believed already knew that they were great – have admitted to me that they have so many doubts about themselves and didn’t realise that they made a difference.
I think it’s important then, that we as a society start validating each other. Don’t just notice the good in others … TELL THEM. Like I said, I think it’s sad that people are feeling like they are worthless, when they actually have SO MUCH WORTH that has not been recognised.
So here are a few ideas of compliments that you can give others:
Thank you for the really fun conversation we had yesterday. It was so great hearing about your opinion about the political climate we live in, but I also want to thank you for listening to me and wanting to hear my opinion. I think you’re a really great listener and that made me feel seen.
Thank you so much for helping Mary set the fire yesterday. I could see that she was struggling and so it was so great of you to get up and guide her.
It was really cool of you today when you stood up and gave the class a message. I personally find it scary standing up and speaking to crowds, and I am just really blown away by your confidence.
It starts with you.
My Facebook Live on Validating Others