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One of the things that bothers me is when people are insincere when someone else does well. The congratulations is at best a chore to be completed, and pretend you are too busy to be saying anything more. After all, why give someone the impression that you are impressed, not to mention curious how they achieved what they did. Oh you won first prize….that's great, no why, no how. Nothing! It is undoubtedly one of the side effects of social media, where we are constantly bombarded by the inane and irrelevant. So it is no surprise that our responses are on autopilot.
A few days ago I was sitting with myself as I often do on a rainy day, and talking in my head. What I like to call my virtual ‘mind cafe’ where I sit while mina1 (that's me) and mina2 (also me) sit and chit chat with one another on the bigger questions of life. From that ‘conversation’ emerged what I called a “Word Hug”. People need to use more ‘word hugs’.
What is a ‘Word Hug’ exactly?
It is a sincere rush of warmth, compassion and genuinity in the form of words that envelope another person with a feeling of being being blessed is known as a 'Word Hug'.
There are times when you really want to share a really special achievement with those we consider close friends and family. When you do, usually over text in the times we live in, very often you get a barrage of congratulations' or thumbs up in response but not much more. You would think that congratulating someone on an achievement or a special day is a fairly straightforward process. Someone shares their achievement and instead of taking a moment to really understand what has happened, or rather say tell me more…, most of us share a "congratulations" over text with the appropriate emojis - moment over and work done. Leaving the receiver feeling so inadequate and underwhelmed.
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There is usually a lot of hardwork and dedication that has gone into anything we do that is worthy of mention. A lot of time and preparation has gone into getting to the goal post, which we are dying to share, if only someone would ask and show interest.
There are a few people who are old school and care enough to actually call, which is wonderful! However, most are unable to simply stay with the achievement shared, focus on what has been done and will add the rider of what 'next' is to be achieved. Totally killing the excitement and enthusiasm of the person who shared. It never fails to astound me how many people are incapable of staying in the moment without adding a rider... congratulations on getting 92%, now you need to focus on getting into the best university! Congratulations on your new home, now just get your son married. Huh?
How about, "Many congratulations on doing so well in your exams. I am so proud of you and the hard work you have put into it. Well done"... and leave it at that. The poor child has barely got their breath and you have another rider to add.
"Congratulations on your new home. I am so happy for you… it's a lovely place. We wish you much joy and happiness in your new home, we need a party, this is so exciting!" But no, we must remind the proud new home owner.... don't get too smug, your son is not married. He should be. Why? Why do we talk in a manner that is so lacking in empathy? Empathy is not just for sorrow, it equally applies to a joyful moment. Experience the joy as though it is your own. Fully feel the happiness of the other person and allow yourself to give a 'Word Hug'. Words that envelop you in a feeling as though you are as excited as they are!!
Last week, I was attending an event that had many big celebrities in attendance and to put it mildly it was an achievement of sorts for me after many years of work. When I shared, some friends and family gave the perfunctory congratulations and thumbs up and I felt let down. 22 years of hard work deserved just a thumbs up?
But a few of my dearest friends were ecstatic, saying “We are coming over to hear all the gossip and celebrate with you.” I received not one but many 'Word Hugs' that day. Words I held closely to my heart because they were as excited for me as I was for myself. It certainly requires a little bit of time and effort. But think of the sheer excitement of whoever has shared. Don't dampen it.
We don't really realize the difference a 'Word Hug' can make, till it is our turn. So next time someone who matters to you shares their success or something worth celebrating, take the time to understand what happened for them, and why it is important to them. Why your acknowledgement of their hard work means so much to them. A Word Hug can uplift and inspire like little else can.
A 'Word Hug' says you matter.
✍️ By- Mina Yogii
Mina Yogii is an inspirational speaker and writes a weekly blog, 'Yogii…A Little Bit of Magic,' showing people how to find their abundance and tread their life’s journey more gently. She enjoys helping people unfold their unlimited potential in a manner that is very simple to understand. You can share your feedback with her at email@example.com. You can also follow Yogii on instagram.