It makes you feel awesome
It’s funny, for quite a long time I thought that the way to feel better was to get people to give me things. To give me some kind of value.
And that makes you feel good. For a short while. Then your emotions kinda snaps the other way like a rubber band. And, once again, you don’t feel so good.
Why? Well, you are taking these things and adding them to yourself. But the ego always wants more. The positive feelings you get from whatever you are given wears off pretty quickly. And so you want people to give you more value again. It’s like when you buy a new shirt or pair of shoes. You feel great about them for a while but after that they lose their magic. They become “normal”. And so you go the store again.
Now, giving value is to a better way to feel good. You control how much value you want to give and how you feel. It’s a more consistent way to feel good. To me it’s almost always more powerful than the quick hits of positive emotions you get from getting value.
But it’s a bit counter-intuitive. When you’re feeling down, it seems pretty natural to need a compliment to feel better instead of giving someone a compliment. So I have an external reminder in the form of a post-it note on my desk that says: ”Feeling bad? Give value.”
You tend to get what you give
People often have a strong feeling of wanting to give what they got. Perhaps not right away, but over time reciprocity and a positive relationship can build. And in general, what you give you tend to get back from the world around you.
I try to avoid keeping this in the forefront of my mind while giving value though.
It’s a good idea to do so because if you don’t then it may make whatever you doing seem insincere. Like you are just out to get something from the other person. And if you are just doing things for people to get them to do things for you then you may not feel so good about yourself and become a bit negative, irritated or needy.
Some people won’t reciprocate. They may be totally stuck in a sucking value kind of mode. And well, in time you may naturally feel inclined to give more value to and hang out with people that reciprocate and offer value to you.
It makes your life a whole lot more fun
By giving value in a genuine way you tend to take more action than if you are waiting for someone to give you value. And by taking more action and giving more value you tend to – over time – create more interesting and fun situations. Because more action leads to more things happening and more value given leads to more reciprocation from other people.
And since you feel awesome from giving value that emotion is of course contagious. So you and the people around feel better and tend to get into a more positive and open mood and frame of mind.
It makes it easier to start new relationships
Much of this post is about improving your relationships with people. But it’s also a good way to start a relationship.
If you read any blogs about blogging then you may have read that a not so useful way to email a blogger and create a relationship with that person is to just ask him/her to do something for you. I agree with that.
If someone sends me an email where s/he offers value – perhaps give me a compliment, constructive criticism, offers to help if I would need it in the future – I tend to feel grateful and think that this person who emailed me is a cool and sympathetic person. If I, on the other hand, get an email where someone just wants me to do this or that then that’s often a bit of a turn-off. I think this is true in off-line interactions too.