Christine Webber says being valued is so important – Eastern Daily Press

Christine Webber
Unrecognizable senior male doctor with smartphone at the office, text messaging. – Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Maya Angelou, the late, great poet and civil rights activist once observed: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” 
How true that is – especially when it comes to appreciation.
I’ve been thinking a lot about appreciation recently, and what it is about it that gives us so much affirmation and uplift.
After all, what is appreciation? Is it the same as gratitude? Not quite. Somehow it seems to have an added layer of importance over simply saying “thank you.”
Many aspects of today’s life seem harsh, unpredictable and worrying and this is leading to large numbers of individuals struggling with a sense of hopelessness or helplessness.
So, feeling appreciated and valued right now is more important than ever.
In fact, being on the receiving end of someone’s appreciation can completely turn our day around. And if you are the person being appreciative, you are likely to experience a big upturn in your own mood too because of the positive impact you’ve made on another human being.
When I counsel clients who feel miserable, I always suggest they spend some part of everyday focusing on who they appreciate, and then, to be sure to tell those people how vital they are.
Often when we are down, we long for someone to look after us and to value us. We can’t always make that happen. But what we can to be in touch with our own goodness and generosity by appreciating someone else.
And, trust me, nine times out of ten when we do that, we feel better, It can be something as simple as telling your hairdresser that no one else has ever cut your hair so well.
Or saying to a retail assistant who is particularly helpful how appreciative you are to be treated with kindness.
I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of unexpected appreciation the other day and it felt great!
A woman I’d never met before, sought me out at a meeting and told me that 20 years previously she had bought my book on happiness and that it had really helped her.
She said it had taught her to focus on the good things that happen rather than dwell on the bad – and that this strategy had helped her deal with a very difficult trauma in her past.
As you can imagine, I was delighted. Authors always love to be told that their readers have enjoyed their books. This can’t happen often enough!
But what this woman said was way more than that. And I felt touched and moved to be appreciated for the ideas I had sought to convey when writing that book so long ago.
I was once at a company function to mark the winning of a big contract. Among the crowd watching the celebratory speeches was the previous Chief Executive, and I realised that only a year previously it would have been him making a speech and he would have been a main player on the day and not a mere observer – and I noticed that he seemed somehow smaller than he used to look, and slightly wistful.
But then something wonderful happened. When the speeches were over, several of his former colleagues gathered round the elderly gentleman and told him how much his work had led to the current success, and they made a fuss of him and got him to relate some stories of the company in its early days.
And as I watched, he stood taller, and smiled and looked like the boss who had once been the figurehead of that firm.
We are all like that man, we need appreciation just like flowers need sunshine and rain.
So now, I am going to do something I have never done in print before; I’m going to show my personal appreciation of my local doctors’ surgery, which is in Eye.
Last week, I was feeling quite poorly. I toyed with ringing the surgery but almost didn’t because I’m aware that most people working in the NHS are on their knees with exhaustion.
But in the end, I did pick up the phone though I was prepared to be told that they couldn’t help me for a few days.
To my amazement not only was the receptionist very kind, but she promised that a doctor would ring me – and he did, just 20 minutes later.
We had a productive chat which ended with him suggesting I come round to the centre and see him.
So, I did, and within 20 minutes he was examining me. 20 minutes after that, I was walking out of the local pharmacy with medication that started helping right away.
Currently, there are so many tales of woe about the state of the NHS. But when things go right for us, as they did for me the other day, it’s important we show our appreciation to the staff who help us despite the current, very pressurised situation they are in.
So, thank you, Eye Health Centre. I appreciate you more than I can say.
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