Hey guys! Hope you’ve been well. This past week has been a bit of a struggle for me, but I’m grateful that I have this opportunity to share with you.
Last week, I wrote about the role of value in successful relationships. Today, I wanted to expand on the conclusion that I reached last week and explain some of the nuances of putting this concept into practice. It’s easy enough to see how giving value is important when building a good relationship, but its much harder to actually apply this principle in real life. Concepts without execution are useless at best and in worse cases, just plain pretentious.
Knowing how to give value is one thing. Actually going about doing it is another animal altogether.
The 2 Cornerstones of Giving Value
1. You give value when you recognize the value of other people.
This can also be read as: You must first recognize the value of other people before you can earnestly give value to them.
Giving value needs to come from the heart. Take the act of complimenting for example. Giving a compliment is one of the simplest, lowest investment ways that we can give value every day, but it’s common sense that getting an empty compliment doesn’t feel as good as when someone compliments you earnestly.
This is because at its core, giving value is an expression of your self. If you don’t really feel that the person is worth giving to (i.e. see the value inside of them), any “value” that you give to them will come off as fake. This isn’t giving value. It’s flattery.
Now the question is: how can we bring ourselves to see the value in others? This brings us to the second cornerstone:
2. You can only truly begin to see the value in others when you can see the value in yourself.
Another way to say this is that: Before you can give value (give the gift of yourself), you must first reach a point where you can consider yourself to be a gift.
The best way to start seeing value in yourself is to actually be someone with value. Of course, it’s also important to build the self-esteem required to look within yourself and see value. Without self-esteem, you could have all of the good qualities in the world and still not be able to see them. But personally, I think that taking action and building more value within yourself is more efficient. This way, you can work on both the total amount of value that you have and your sense of self-esteem at the same time.
Building Value in Yourself
But how do you build value in yourself? What does it even mean to have value?
Quite simply, it means that you have qualities that can be of benefit to other people. Value comes from within, so it only makes sense that we would have to work on what’s inside of us to increase our value.
Remember the intangible value that we talked about last week? Confidence, a skill that you are good at, enthusiasm – these are all qualities that can help enrich the lives of the people around you. When you work on yourself, you are building value. Because you are improving yourself day-by-day, your sense of self-worth increases as you continue to grow.
I’m aware that it’s possible that this idea may come off as arrogant. As a society, we have a strong aversion to people who talk themselves up and overvalue themselves. We have words for these kinds of people: narcissist, conceited, vain. But thinking of yourself as a gift doesn’t make you any of these. It’s not vanity because it’s all about other people.
Gifts, by definition, are mean to be given and received. When you recognize yourself as a gift, your very presence becomes a vehicle for giving value. It’s not something that have to go out of your way to do, it’s just a part of who you become. As people, we unconsciously recognize this fact. Take the phrase, “being there for someone” for example. When we are “there for someone,” we are giving them ourselves as a gift so that they may lean on us for support.
“Thinking of yourself as a gift” It’s all about self-worth, not selfishness.