week 15: you is kind, you is smart, you is important

7 ways to make others feel important:

  1. Use his/her name.
  2. Express sincere gratitude.
  3. Do more listening than talking.
  4. Talk more about him/her than yourself.
  5. Be authentically interested.
  6. Be sincere in your praise.
  7. Show you care.

I’d like to add
8. Look him/her in the eyes when either of you are speaking, (especially if you’re apologizing, giving praise or showing gratitude), and
9. Listen to listen, not to respond.

Seems easy enough, right? Well these simple virtues are falling by the way way waaaaayside as we speak. I’ve been called a forward-thinking renaissance woman, but some of my manners are antiquated if you ask the next chick. I guess I’m holding tough because people, young and not so young(in age), are more interested in what’s happening on an app than in real life. Those electric connections are more gratifying than the physical. Eye contact and real conversations are so hard, right?! Were Zapp&Roger forecasting when they created Computer Love? But the love isn’t found in the computer, but rather with it.

Anyway, I’m working on being the reflection of the friend I need and not being such a butt cheek in conversation. It’s hard, y’all. Sarcasm and dry humor are my defense mechanisms super powers. It’s not necessarily an attempt at changing my ways, but rather dishing out my sarcasm in smaller doses, digging deeper and being more transparent. (And just FYI, I’m only sarcastic with people I really really REALLY like, so consider yourself special.) Plus, I just want to flex on the homies with my amazing listening skills and ability to be an adult. You know, be more of the friend I’d want for myself. It’s beautiful what you can absorb when you shut off your own voices to truly hear what’s being shared.

I’m also taking a stab at number 7, showing that I care. My Teflon Donna exterior melts when I care because when I care, I care A LOT. And it’s important to me to know that the recipient knows that I care, in whatever form(s) necessary. I know my love languages and what fills me up but I’ve assumed how I receive love and how I give love are one in the same. WRONG! Not always wrong, but sometimes! What I need from a friend may not be what they need from me. That awareness and willingness to do the work can extend a relationship or help you see its incapabilities.

Would you add anything to this list? Do you find it important to make others feel important?

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37 thoughts on “week 15: you is kind, you is smart, you is important

  1. This is absolutely essential for black people on planet earth. We are under War, it is critical we love one another and listen to one another. I would add it is of the upmost importance for black people to do everything in their power to minimize conflict with other black people. This means absolutely no arguing with other black people for any reason. I would also add, demonstrating a high level of patience when dealing with other black people, and demonstrating the highest level of Black Self Respect each and every time we are in contact with another black person. This is a very important Code you have blogged on and needs to be taught over and over and over again until black people can pass this test hands down.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That’s a lovely thought. I understand the message might not reach everyone because we are so conditioned to conflict and hate. We are ofttimes so reactionary instead of patient and understanding. And I’d much rather walk away than continue a frictional relationship/encounter.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Benjamin that is an excellent point and strategy. I have close friends when they say something that doesn’t line up with Logic, instead of shooting it down or criticizing it, I say that’s interesting or I’ll have to think more on it. Silence sometimes too is golden.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. For me I generally do not view it terms of being afraid or not afraid, I look at it as, how will agreeing or disagreeing move me closer to my attended goal. If agreeing will move me closer to my goal, I will agree, it doesn’t cost me anything and I haven’t lost anything, it’s just a chess move for me. I like the book by Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends and influence people. If I am trying to sell my idea, I want to be very cautious on how I disagree because generally when you disagree with someone you can put that person on the defensive. Instead of disagreeing I prefer to exchange ideas, that way the individual has felt heard and listened to. If I strongly disagree with an individual and I showed I am not afraid to disagree that may not suit my agenda, if I leave the situation having lost the contract or my idea not utilized, my disagreement has not benefited me. I definitely agree there is a time to not be afraid to disagree, it just depends on the situation and the agenda I am trying to accomplish.

          I have experience black people standing there ground in the workplace and speaking their mind freely. And although they may feel vindicated, by them losing their job, that would not be a win for me, I prefer to leave a job on my terms or find a way to make my adversary leave the job if possible. I have observed many black people generally do not engage other blacks in the spirit of learning or exchanging views but to argue and or prove what they have learned from white people. I usually detect this right away in a conversation, by gauging how much they listen and ask questions, or if they stop to let you get a word in, if they are not listening and they are doing all the talking, I make a decision right there as to how much time I will invest in the individual, especially in dialogues about Racism, because chances are they are not open to what I may have to share anyway.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. I’d never heard the term either so I appreciate you sharing. But I’m thrown off by “rhetoric” because it sounds like it’s just talking to be talking, not for a response/solution or knowledge sharing.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. Understood but when combined with the word invitational it invites the talking and sharing of different perspectives. There’s no right or wrong and everyone’s point of view is heard in a respectful environment.

            Liked by 3 people

          3. Precisely! With the understanding, that although we may not agree right now or on this particular issue, trying to keep in mind we may agree down the road on another issue. Rather than the black person viewing me as an adversary and therefore defensive to me even if I say good morning, “I It’s not a good morning” this generally happens when someone has had their feelings hurt. I try to make an attempt even when I disagree with a black person to do so in a respectful manner and not belittling them or trying to make them feel dumb or not valued.

            White People are constantly calling into question black people’s intelligence. White people have devoted many books and scholarly articles trying to scientifically prove black people’s inferiority, because of this constant attack over centuries, I think black people in general have developed a defensive mechanism in response to this abuse, I could be wrong, but I try and keep in mind when dealing with a black person, that we are undervalued, marginalized and unappreciated everyday, so I want to make sure I am not adding to that type of White Supremacists mindset, by making black people feel small. The other thing I do as a personal Code is I never try to prove my intelligence to white people. I use carefully constructed words to convey in a very polite way that I have absolutely no interest in what a white person thinks about me. White People are very observant, they monitor their Niggras very closely, they usually pick up on this right away. I never get caught up on trying to educate whites on anything. Black people on the other hand I try to exercise a patience that I have to work on everyday. Especially if I am trying to get a black person to see a particular reality about White Supremacy. For example I am talking to a black person and they bring in white Jesus, I don’t bash them, I attempt to steer the conversation back to the agenda or the seeds I am attempting to plant, with the understanding that not all seeds planted germinate immediately. I was dialoguing with a black male about Racism one time and he brought up his “good white friends”, instead of trying to convince him, it is no such thing as a “white friend” under the System of Racism White Supremacy, I just planted some seeds of doubt about his “white friends”, I strongly disagree but I never told the black person I strongly disagree because my suspicion is he would not have been receptive to my view anyway. I jumped in the question lane, I asked him did he and his white friend discuss Racism? No, How do you tell a Racist White person from one who is not Racist? He gave me a response, to which I said is it possible that a white person could be lying? Of course, is it logical in a System of Racism White Supremacy to be suspicious of white people? Is it possible for a white person to be nice and still be a White Supremacists? On and on, I continued like this in a non threatening, non judgmental manner. I planted doubt in this black male’s mind about how well he really knew his white friend, since they never discussed Trayvon Martin, Michal Brown etc, How does your white friend vote? Etc. He doesn’t have to admit to me, but I have found just pricking a black person’s awareness in this way will put him on alert, the next time they are in the presence of their “white friend”, that white friend will say something eventually that is Racist, that usually would have slipped by, but because of the doubt, the suspicion that was planted, the black person catches it. For me this has a bigger pay off than disagreeing about “white friends.” I appreciate your comments and thoughts on the subject matter.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. “The other thing I do as a personal Code is I never try to prove my intelligence to white people.”
            I’m so glad you said that because that says it all! I’m so sick of black people (myself included) feeling that they have to prove or qualify themselves in white spaces, to assimilate, to work twice as hard to be seen as half as good. That mindset has never worked in the centuries-long history of this country. Historically we have been legally dehumanized and no amendments to the US Constitution has done anything to change that fact. Black bodies continue to be criminalized, incarcerated, and executed at will. Even with an Obama presidency, the body count continued uninterrupted because that’s what white America thinks of us–like Dylann Roof, a young white boy walking into an historic black church and killing nine African American parishioners.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. You are absolutely 100% correct and accurate. I have been guilty of it also. Once you get on that hamster wheel, white People will forever keep you on it. As people classified as black we have to redefine what success is and what success means in a System that is designed and built off of our collective mistreatment.

            Liked by 2 people

          6. Benjamin you sparked my memory again. I would have to thank Kelly also for such a thought provoking topic. One thing I observe far too much of within the black collective is these behaviors where black people have learned some things, which is excellent, we should all be trying to learn. However, everyone’s agenda for learning is not the same. Some of these black people want to be a “Black Leader”, which I assert, all of black people’s leaders are and have been white people, just following Logic, if we are in a System of Racism White Supremacy. We have black spokespersons, which are black people who speak, I am one, you are all spokespersons too. That being said if they want to call themselves black leaders, so be it, they will get no argument from me, I am only interested in the information. What you see is many of these black people learned the information not to teach or to attempt to make other black people aware, but they do what they do to argue and debate other black folks, how logical is that? They actually host events, where they say our agenda is to have a debate. In this corner we have such an such, in this corner we have such an such, when the bell rings come out intellectually swinging. At the end they crown this Negro, destroyed this one and people pay to watch this sort of stuff, getting popcorn and stuff. It’s Tom Foolery, then you have those who are attempting to teach our people, which I commend but they are doing so for egotistical reasons, some crave the attention and some just want to flat out fuss and fight, intellectual gang banging. While others are about getting paid.

            At the end of the day, I am engaged in Counter Racist activity because I want to end this war we have been engaged in for centuries and help to set up a System of Justice, balance between people. I don’t need my name remembered for that, my voice, or face, only the message. That’s why I love the phrase exchanging ideas, it sets a precedent upfront that agreement would be nice but not required or necessary. I feel like I have learned a lot from people I disagree with, that has furthered my growth and development. I occasionally encounter these black individuals that just want to talk and be heard, they are not interested in whether you learn or not, they are only interested in letting you know that they know something you do not and they can get quite discourteous, with over talking you, cutting you off, name calling you, and really only interested in debating. I do not participate in this type of activity not even for one second. As black people we have to really embrace valuing our time and energy, which is far to often not considered at all. Thank you for sparking ideas 💡that is exactly what is supposed to happen in a constructive dialogue. Leader of One!

            Liked by 2 people

  2. The other thing I would point out is in the title and I think there is a correlation between the two. “You is kind, You is Smart, You is Important.” I think this line demonstrates black people’s White Identification, which is a black person who views the world through a white perspective or view. This line shows the unconditional love and support black people have and display for our historic enemies and I would also add is a severe form of mental illness. Psychologist refer to this type of white identification with one’s oppressors as Stockholm Syndrome. In actuality the little white girl, future Racist and member of Racist White Supremacists Army, should have been telling the black female, victim of Racism White Supremacy, that she was kind, she was smart, and she was important. The System of Racism White Supremacy produces this type of incorrect behavior and thinking in its victims and I believe there is a connection between this type of behavior in a black person towards white people in respect to how a black person that thinks in this manner will function with another black person. Many functioning with self hatred, lack of empathy, unwillingness to speak and or listen to other black people. In short a complete disregard of other black people they encounter, which leads to black dysfunctional behavior, problems between black males and black females relationships, black violence, fussing or fighting with other blacks and a myriad of other negative behaviors. Thanks for posting on such an interesting and important topic that effects black life and the quality of black life in a facet of ways.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! I am glad you see the correlation of the title to the actual post. I’m proud to say anyone I call a friend is Black + most of my subscribers and readers are Black; knowing that this subject resonates with one of us makes me feel I am doing my job.

      We deserve to know that we are important, and not from a white gaze, but the love and respect and praise from our own. People we call friends. Homies. Sisters. Family. And especially feel that we, us as individuals and a people, are important.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your insight. It’s felt + appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Kelly I agree, our heroes and sheroes sacrifice a lot and they do not always get the credit we deserve, we can be a fickle minded people, the people who are riding with you one day, can be calling you a Coon the next. We change on people, like the wind changing directions. Your topic made me think so it is definitely working and it’s an excellent Counter Racist effort!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with this list, but as for your last question, I’m finding it less important to make someone feel important. I’m starting to believe that’s an inside job. If you feel important (just because), then I also think you’re less likely to expect certain behaviors from others.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m revising this post, adding what you said and taking credit!
      I agree with you, Dr. G. And I also know that you have to meet people where there are (if it’s nice to have them around, of course), which sometimes requires a little extra honey and patience.
      I hope to gain half your wisdom as I progress through this thing called life. Your insight is always appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 😂 girl I don’t have the honey or the patience lol but I know what you mean. My husband tells me this all the time “you wanna take people to the promise land but they can’t get out the bed” 😳 sigh anywho thanks for your kind words Kelley Kelley! I appreciate it

        Liked by 2 people

  4. “you is kind, you is smart, you is important”

    I remember when Viola Davis said this to that white girl in “The Help,” I wanted to just wring her neck! I’m like, you’re seen as nothing more than a poorly paid servant and here you are, saying that to some white girl that does not need that in the least, but if you have children, you should be saying that to them because they surely need it.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but there is no way in hell that I would have played a part in a movie no matter how much I was paid, and said that to a white child. No way possible. I’ll save words like that for those who look like me, but to ‘white’s? Absolutely not! In a movie or out of one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right, Shelby! But why is that line Viola’s? Why is she saying it to a white girl? I think to perpetuate the poor little innocent white girl/woman that needs help and reassurance and outside validation. They especially like to get/take it from US, simultaneously reminding US that we are not those things and it’s our job-has always been our job- to reassure them of their importance. We’d just be nothing without them!

      It sadly never surprises me what we’ll do for money or popularity.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Exactly Kelley! And so we build them up while they tear us down. How crazy is that? I will never understand why many Black people still don’t seem to get it despite how obvious it is that we are being purposefully brainwashed by our enemy. No ‘white’ person is a friend to Black people and if any group of people need validation, it is us. But certainly, we should not continuously look at our enemy and give him/her what we refuse to give to each other. smh

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I think over time I’ve realized it’s not the most crucial thing to make others feel important, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to affirm another individual. If you care enough to strike up a conversation and listen to someone, then go a step further and care enough to affirm their thoughts — not every little thing of course, but when’s the last time someone hurt themselves by agreeing with another?

    I definitely agree with this post and enjoy the words, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true, Michelle. People sometimes just want a debate or to “win” an argument instead of simply listening to gain knowledge or understanding-or GASP, to let the person vent.

      Thank YOU for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  6. “Listen to listen, not to respond”

    This one took me some time to get! This is especially important in relationships. I’m a comeback queen and I often found myself just waiting for someone to say something slick so I could respond, instead of hearing what they were saying. Growth though 😆

    Liked by 1 person

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