Dr.Mark’s Rules for Constructive Living–Grandma teaches me the “MMFI” Concept

Make Me Feel Important (MMFI Rule)–The power of focusing on others and making them feel important can lead to more positive connections.

We’ve been making our way through Constructive Living ideas as a way for you to develop a meaningful and fulfilling life. In this blog I will focus on the power of the MMFI Rule.

Are you important? I hope you said “Yes” to yourself! I’m important and you’re important because we are all unique and different in our own right. We’re all unique people with unique and special gifts. Our importance is not always recognized and appreciated but we are still special. You do not have to be a celebrity to be important. Just ask your spouse, kids, parents, grandparents, friends or coworkers.

I remember the sudden death of my father; he was strong and demanding father who was ambitious and ran his family as a command and control general; but when he died students and friends came out of the woodwork to celebrate his fairness, kindness and willingness to give the less fortunate a break. He never became a T.V. celebrity. Yet had a huge impact on the lives of people at the University and community he served. We just did not hear about until his death.  I share this story not to dump on my father’s legacy; but because of the lesson I learned – you and I are important and so is every other person you come in contact with…whether they realize it or not. Every life is important. That’s right; many people live their lives in quiet desperation, feeling unimportant; and if you and I believe they are important and treat them with respect and consideration great things can happen!

Let me share one quick story. I knew an older woman in her 70’s till she was 90+ years old who was an important person in my growing up and feeling good about myself. She lost her husband at age 60 and never re-married  She like listening to the radio and  working in the garden. She was a wonderful addition to our family; someone who was always willing to listen and comfort you.  She’s had not done anything that will make her famous but she’s important nonetheless. Who is this person? My Grandmother Annabelle Savage. If it were not for her I would not feel such a strong belief in myself. She believed I had the potential to do any thing I wanted to do. She was always on my side. What a wonderful and caring women.  From my limited perspective my grandmom was very important and I’m sure from my brothers and sister viewpoints because she was a buffer from the strong mother and dad we had. Even my young friends who interacted with her came away feeling important and respected. She was the psychologist in chief for our family from the time I was six years old till the sad day we had to put her in a nursing home when I was twenty-one. A great role model and a wonderful friend who provided me support and ignited a belief in myself. She told me stories about her life, taught me baseball and let me enjoy the Green Hornet and Helen Trent  radio programs with her.

What I took away from this important relationship was that every day as we meet people if we make them feel import they’ll sense that. Of course they’ll like us for it too.

Don’t you enjoy it when people treat you like you’re important? It can be humbling at times but I know I enjoy it and I bet you do too. If we enjoy it then why not spread the joy and allow others to feel the same way? Here are a few simple things anyone can do to convey a sense of importance to another person:

  • Show respect – Respect comes easily through small geatures with phrases like, ” Go on I am Listening, Tell me more,”  “Yes please,” “No thank you,” “Excuse me”.  These are simple and none assumes anything from the other person.
  • Golden Rule – Treat people the way you’d like to be treated or the way you’d like someone to treat a loved one. This kind of behavior tends “to go around and come” back to you.
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy–  give the other person expectations to live up too This actually effects their self-esteem and many times creates an optimistic attitude toward life. Conveying belief in another person can help them do more than they thought possible and make them feel more important than ever before. Everyday try to give gift of the “self-fulfilling prophecy” and MMFI  concept.

We make requests of people every single day because we need other people. Recognizing that fact, this blog helps you learn to hear “Yes!” The more friends you make, the easier it is to influence people and hear “Yes!” But it’s not just about getting what you want. It’s about building relationships and enjoying our lives more because of those relationships. Make another person feel important today and that’s one step in the right direction in creating and making a difference in life. What one thing are you going to do today to make someone feel more important?

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