Recently I came across a quotegram that listed things kids need to hear from their parents. Going down the list I thought to myself, this isn’t just applicable to children it’s also applicable to all of us.
At our deepest human core, we all want to feel loved, heard and validated. We all love to receive compliments and encouragement from the people who matter most to us–our parents, our partners, our siblings, our children, our peers and our friends.
You can never get enough of it, especially from those you love. But the problem is: We don’t hear it enough.
I thought about whether I have said it enough to the ones I love. And the truth is, no. I could definitely step it up and say it more often to the people who are in my life.
It made me think, as adults have we forgotten we also love and need to hear the things kids need to hear?
You may be wondering, what are these ‘things’?
I’m glad you asked. 🙂
Here are 6 timeless phrases we would all love to hear more of regardless of our age:
1. I believe in you
We all have a tendency to doubt ourselves. And hearing these words can truly make a difference when you are weathering through a storm, feeling defeated, deterred and down in the dumps.
It also reinforces the belief in yourself that you’ve got what it takes. I remember a time when I was in school and entered a speech contest. I was having trouble with a part of my speech and my teacher said ‘I believe in you. You can do it. Just like you did last year.’ At that moment, these words immediately made me feel more confident again that I got this.
When you hear these four words from someone you care and respect, it can be one of the most empowering forces to inspire you into a warrior/goddess mode.
2. I’m listening
How amazing is it when you are having a stressful day or you have got something on your mind and the person you are speaking to stops what they are doing. Looks you in the eye, gives you their undivided attention and says I’m listening?
It makes you feel important doesn’t it? That you are the only person in this world they are paying attention to. You feel respected as the person is showing interest in what you have to say is significant and cares about what is on your mind.
3. I’m sorry
This phrase may irk some people, because often it rolls out of people’s tongue (especially women) like it is on autopilot.
I’ll admit I am guilty of this. Often I catch myself saying sorry, when there’s no need to be sorry. For example, when someone is in my way and I’m trying to get around them I’d say sorry instead of using pardon me, or excuse me. (For those who are culprits of the ‘I’m sorry’ crutch, you may find this article Notes to My 12-Year-Old Self: Sorry, Not Sorry of interest.)
However, when an apology is warranted because you are wrong or you value your relationship with someone more than your ego, or if it is the right thing to say when someone loses someone or something dearly, hearing ‘I’m sorry’ is always appreciated.
4. I forgive you
There are certain times in life where it can be hard to forgive someone. So never force yourself when you are not ready. But forgiving someone is a great gift for yourself.
For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The moment when you feel like you have had enough and is ready to let go of the pain and the resentment, you’ll start to feel a little peace. This peace within you will grow and lead you to a happier life.
5. I am proud of you
These five words are so powerful it could be a force multiplier in someone’s life. Recognition is the ammunition that lights us up to want to continue to exemplify who we are and what we do. Likewise, when you are not being recognized, you tend to feel discouraged and it kills your motivation.
I read somewhere once that this is the second most important phrase to say to kids, after I love you.
However, I think it is equally important for adults to say it to each other. Be it your peers, your siblings, your partner, your brother in law. If you feel it is appropriate and is deserved say it. It never hurts.
6. I love you
Need I say more? Love is the most powerful force of the universe.
Love is our true nature and it comes in different forms. We were made with love and made to love. So spread the love. Say these three words to those you love before it’s too late.
As with everything in life, action speaks louder than words. So don’t forget to compliment what you say with appropriate actions. For example, if you say I’m sorry. You also need to take responsibility and not make the same mistake again.
Over to you.
Choose any of the phrases above.
What is the phrase you have chosen?
Who do you most frequently say it to?
Who else can benefit from hearing it? In what situation and when?
Also by Theresa: 20 Simple Ways to Take a Break
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Photo: Matus Laslofi via Flickr