5 Ways to Add Value to Other People

12:07 PM

If there's one thing I've learned about relationships in life so far, it's that it's not about how amazingly charming you are, it's how people feel when they're with you. When Jesus was on earth, He wasn't just an amazing speaker or healer, He had a way that touched people and made them feel valued. There was a kindness about Him that tugged at people's hearts. There isn't a lot of kindness in the world these days and most people feel devalued or unlovable in some way. Although it's impossible to heal someone else's wounds, I believe that we can represent Jesus in some pretty basic ways that could add value to a heart desperately crying out for it. Here following are five of those ways. 







#1. Give Others Your Undivided Attention

    There's something about being truly listened to that really wins over your heart. Instantly, you feel important and worthwhile. My college roommate had this crazy way of maintaining eye contact that unnerved me until I realized that in my family we tend to look away when someone's talking. Looking someone in they eye (in a non-creepy way) while they're speaking shows them that you're tracking with them.  It's something that takes practice, but it's a habit well worth cultivating. 






#2. Put the Phone Down 

     This is perhaps a more modern way to state #1. We've all been on a coffee date competing with an electronic device for someone's undivided attention. Although working on this myself, I cannot emphasize enough how rotten it feels to be in the middle of a personal statement when someone chooses to put you on hold for the text message they've just received. It's really about seeing the person God has placed in front of you in that moment. It may be niggling in your mind, driving you crazy that you don't know what that text says, but do your best to let it wait. If you can, turn your phone off before the conversation even starts. It's a great way to show someone you respect them and their time.





#3. Give Sincere Compliments

     Whether it's the dude at the cash register or your hard working mother, everybody likes to be recognized and applauded for the things they're doing well. Almost everyone can also spot a flatterer, so do look for something that you actually appreciate and speak it out. There is far too much criticism and too little encouragement we get in life. It may feel intimidating at first, but a small word of praise can completely change the course of someone's day.





#4. Ask Thoughtful Questions

     This one is surprisingly difficult to incorporate. While doing an internship at a church, one of my duties was to get to know as many people as possible who came to our free weekly student lunches. We had up to 700 people come through the doors in about two to three hours, so I had to become a master of small talk. At first, it was incredibly awkward. Most people are naturally suspicious of anybody they've never met, especially someone who invites themselves to their table and starts asking them personal questions, so I had to figure out some pretty creative ways of easing into a conversation. Now that I've worked with international students for awhile, I've got a small repertoire of questions that can be pulled out in the most awkward of situations. Going back to #3, a sincere compliment is also a super easy way to start a conversation with a stranger. Good questions are also necessary for everyday situations with people you already truly care about. If someone just sits and stares at you blankly while you pour your heart out, it can often feel like they're not actually listening. Asking a pertinent question can help that person articulate what it is they'd like to say, or help them even realize a bit more of who they are! 





#5 Listen to Pray

     It is often said that we need to listen to hear and not to respond. While that is very true, I find the deeper truth is that we need to listen to how God wants us to respond. I call it, "the other conversation." They have their opinion, you have yours, but the only one that really matters is the other guy at the table whom you can choose to ignore or bring into the matter. Sometimes, when in a conversation that's especially important, I will sense that God doesn't want me to respond to something, or that they're not quite telling the truth yet. Tapping into spiritual discernment is invaluable in connecting with other people's hearts. You will never completely know what's going on with a person, or how to help them, but God does. He gets them and He knows how to love them best. Listening to Him for these tips can turn an ordinary coffee date into a life changing moment! 


These are a few of my tips for today! There are obviously so many ways to add value to people, but these simple ones are a few of my favorites :). 

~Rachel~



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2 comments

  1. I'd so like to have an ordinary coffee date with you and I'm sure it would turn into a life changing moment!! <3

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