I recently went to lunch with a woman who made me feel <. You know. Less than. Less than important. Less than worthy. Less than her.
Most of our discussion centered on wealth. While nothing was ever said directly, she clearly communicated that I didn't have enough money to matter.
Now, those of you who know me know that money has never been my primary motivator. On the other hand, I have made a good living -- and a good life -- as a writer and I'm very proud of that.
So why did I take her comments to heart? I don't know. I don't know. All I can tell you is that she reminded me of the truth in the old cliche: People will forget what you say. People will forget what you do. But they'll never forget how you made them feel.
Fortunately, I am typically surrounded by people who make me feel =. Even a handful who make me feel >. Not greater than them -- that wouldn't be fun. But greater than your average Joe. Greater than ordinary. Definitely greater than I did when I walked into the room.
I love these people. They're > than anything.
What about your people? What about you? When you consider your relationship equations, are you making people feel less than? Equal? Greater than?
There are lots of ways to know. A little self-actualization helps. But you can also watch the other person's body language. Does he make eye contact? Is she suddenly slumping in her chair? Is he physically pulling away?
Then, take a psychic step back and listen. Does she sound defensive? Is he getting awfully quiet? Are you the only one asking questions?
People matter. Feelings matter. Words matter. Why, just writing this post is my way of getting my mojo back. And I've got one more thing to say before I let it go:
Kindness is > wealth.