Anxious, scared, happy, content, liked, hurt, fearful, hopeful, encouraged…
…each one a real emotion that everyone feels from time to time.
My husband and I like to say to each other, “Facts over feelings!” And although that may be a good way of dealing with situations, feelings are still a big part of who we are.
Feelings come from a variety of sources. Circumstances bring about feelings. When we get sick, sometimes the feelings of sadness or loneliness may come. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know full well about those sudden influxes of emotions! People also bring about feelings. But have you ever considered this question:
“How do I make people feel?”
Ever heard the statement, “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy”? This goes beyond just moms. Each one of us has the power to make someone else feel a certain emotion, and if we consider the “golden rule” of loving your neighbor as yourself, then it becomes needful to be aware of how we make other people feel. We can make those around us feel uncomfortable or comfortable, liked or disliked, enriched or disgusted.
What about that feeling of walking on eggshells? Not fun! We all know certain people who make us feel accepted and loved no matter what. And conversely, there are others who make us feel inferior, like everything we say and do is just not good enough. Whether those feelings are our misinterpretation of them or not, the feelings are still there.
I’ve experienced this personally many times, especially when working with teen girls. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard I try to make them feel loved by me, they still “feel” uneasy or nervous. Whether those feelings are based in fact or not, I still need to be aware of how I make them feel. I must keep trying to show them that I do in fact love them!
We may not be able to always control how people feel around us, but we can certainly try to find how that individual personally interprets love (i.e. find their love language).
Before we can change, we must first evaluate.
How do YOU make people feel when they are around YOU?
Do people feel they can open up and share themselves or do they feel in constant danger of somehow offending you?
Do they feel tight-lipped and careful to not say the “wrong” thing?
Do they feel like you value their input or do you make them feel ignorant or uneducated?
Do they feel like they are a bother or an annoyance to you?
These are questions we all should really consider. If we create feelings of discomfort, dislike, or uneasiness in people, we’ll have a really hard time showing them the love of Christ. We won’t be able to encourage them to live for Christ, and we won’t experience true Christian fellowship. People need to clearly know by both our words AND our actions that they are accepted and, above all, loved.
What do you think? Leave a comment…
- Tell us of some ways people make you “feel” (good or bad).
- Share some things you’ve done to make others feel accepted and loved.
- What are some practical ways we can work on making others “feel” loved?
Comments can also be made anonymously if that makes you “feel” more comfortable 🙂
I LOVE this article! As a teen girl, it’s super easy to rely on my feelings to make decisions. But I need to depend on God’s Word and His promises! Facts, not feelings! 😀
So true, Brittany! Thanks for commenting 🙂
Great reminder. When dealing with people, our true motive must be love. This can’t be faked. True, genuine concern for others will be revealed through our body language, our tone, our words and through the “energy” that pervades every interaction. This is why Jesus’ message of loving one another is a constant throughout His teachings. It truly is the Royal Law.
You’re right, Liz…I guess that means WE have to change ourselves first. THEN we can make other’s feel genuine love! Great thought…thanks for sharing.
Some people like to try and do that “special” thing that will cause them to be remembered, and, in a way, “validate” their worth. However, I recently read that people will tend to remember more how you made them feel, rather than what you did for them. So, I started evaluating myself and how I was making people feel in particular interactions with them. It’s a matter of putting myself in their place and receiving the look, word, or body language I am sending them. They don’t know how I feel, only how I am making them feel!
I have been known for being very goal-oriented. When my children were little, as my responsibilities piled up around me, I had to make myself sit with my children, in the midst of their busy-ness…and mine, and play with them, no matter if the dishes or laundry must wait. As they get older, toy cars are replaced by other interests (some of which I no longer possess the flexibility or speed to participate in), but the idea remains…relationships, time, a listening ear, and a genuine interest in their lives. Listen to them and pray for them. Lose the destructive criticism, sharp tongue, and angry eyebrows!
Find a smile.
Everyone matters to God. He didn’t put them in my life to inconvenience me or to interrupt my day or my task. I praise the Lord that, as He allows me to minister to others for Him, I see more and more how through them, the Lord is growing me and teaching me what really matters to Him.
Wow, Trish…that’s an article in and of itself!! Wonderful, practical thoughts…especially in communicating love to our children. Thanks for the feedback!
I say God gave us 2 ears and one mouth for a reason. If we do twice as much listening as we do talking I think people would feel more loved and accepted. No one wants to share their heart with someone if it’s going to be dismissed or talked over.
So true!!! Oh if I could only remember to be “swift to hear and slow to speak.” :oP
Thanks for the comment!
Even the nicest of people can mean to make us feel good but the receiver may be overwhelmed if they have not really been exposed to that. I still have trouble thinking anyone could come up to me and really care. So many times I thought people were interested but they were only trying to be “nice”. I want to respond by saying what do you really want? I want to say just be yourself; you just never know when or how God will use it.
Interesting thoughts, Shirley…it makes sense. Just be real…caring and, like Liz said, genuine. Thanks for the comment!
Being newly married, I’m realizing more and more that one of the most important things in making others feel loved is communication. It is very easy for feelings and thoughts to be misinterpreted AND miscommunicated. How is that to be avoided?? Clear communication! Speak the other person’s love language. And don’t do it because you “should,” do it because you want to! It takes a conscientious decision. It takes so much work but is in the end so worth it! Also, it helps very much to learn how the other person thinks.
Great thought, Maria! I agree…whenever we communicate effectively that would certainly make others “feel” important to us and in the end, loved. Thanks for the comment!
A common statement: “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will even forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Ouch…that is so true! Something to think about for sure. Thanks for the comment, Dear Mother 🙂
Thank you so much Mrs.Jackie for writing this article, there is a lot I need to learn from this In the area I mostly struggle in. Also whenever I talk to brother Chris about something and I say “I feel this way……” and he always tells me “Fact over feelings.” I’ve probably heard that more then a million times
Ha ha! Now you know we say the same thing to eachother, too! Feelings are a big part of us and not always wrong (hence this article) but you’re right, it does takes some awareness and work on our part to look past how we feel and respond to what is true.