My blog friend G Sandwich wrote a great post the other day about writing. Sometimes as a journalist she (and every other journalist in the known world) would need to file copy, so they would “milk” an already written article – basically rewrite the story using mainly the same facts. The other option is to write a “follow-up”. This is where the majority of the new story is actually new, but just brings up different viewpoints or more info. Here’s hoping that todays post is a follow-up and not a milk.
Last week I wrote about saying I Love you unconditionally. My blogging friend Deep As Thought commented that sometimes she would like important people in her life to say, not necessarily I love you (though I think everyone wants that) but “I like you because ….” That got me thinking.
Growing up, my Mother was very critical. In 3rd grade, I remember getting a 95 on a test. I was proud of myself. I went home and told my Mom. her response: “Well, if you’d studied harder you would have had a 100.” ( No- my Mother was not nominated for parent of the year that year, or any year since.) These words from my Mother never got less harsh as time passed, but guess what, my grades got worse. I stopped studying and doing homework. How I managed to escape High School with an average somewhere in the B range is a testament to being somehow smart enough to get through a test. What I lacked in actual book knowledge I made up for in an uncanny ability to figure out multiple choice questions. In my teenage mind, my Mother was not going to appreciate anything I did, so why should I try? No- I hadn’t yet learned the art of doing things for myself. Again, my Mom was so controlling, I didn’t think having my own thoughts and actions was possible. She did not like who I was. Thanks Mom.
My Mothers words and actions continued to dominate my thoughts and actions. This lasted for way too long. I had a long line of mistakes and missteps that can be directly attributed to my weird relationship with her. Because at the root of everything, my Mother did not like me. She did not like what I did. She had comments about my weight, choice in friends, what I wore, what I read, how I spent my free time. There was little in my life she did not criticize. As a child and a teenager and young adult, even as a real adult, it did not feel great to think that my Mother didn’t like me. It sort of zaps your confidence. Well, not sort of. It totally zaps your confidence. And if you don’t feel confident, then you really can’t succeed at anything, you really can’t ever be happy. You walk around with a feeling of not being worthy of anything. This is not a great path to be on. It is a dizzying downward spiral. It is a spiral that is hard to recover from.
All because my Mother never said “I like….”
We all want to be liked, especially by our parents. Shouldn’t the assumption be that a parent likes their child? As a Mother, I know I want my daughter to feel loved, liked and appreciated every day. I make sure I praise her about the things she does well at, give constructive criticism if the situation warrants it, thank her when she does something nice, and tell her I love her. (Don’t worry- I screw up a lot too- I’m sure one day she will write a blog and tell you all the horrible things I did…) But I really try.
So here’s your homework assignment. Really think about why you like all the people in your life. Think about their positive attributes that draw you to them. Tell them. Tell the people in your life why you like them.
Here’s my list:
- I like it when my husband takes out dog out for the 10pm walk, because if I’m home I like to be in my pajamas by then. He knows this is important to me, which is why he does it.
- I like it that my daughter comes home and takes care of school work right away. This makes my life so easy. I have never had the dreaded homework fight.
- I like my best friend S because she is a vault. I can tell her anything and she will not even share it with her husband. Everyone needs a friend like that.
- I like my friend G because she will always tell you the truth. Sometimes I need the reality.
- I like my friend M because she is completely realistic. She knows that sometimes life has to be ugly, and she will guide me through the cold hard facts.
- I like my friend A because she is truly the funniest, most sarcastic person I;ve ever met. No matter what the situation, she finds the humor, no matter how dark. I need this type of person in my life.
- I like my friend SF because he is willing to argue with me. We differ on certain subjects, and he’s never afraid to engage, even though he’s always wrong.
- I like my friend M2 because she loves culture. I need a friend I can go to a museum, concert or whatever with because those experiences are fun to share
I could go on and on and on, but you get the idea.
Tell someone you like them. It really means a lot. They will like it.