One crucial skill stands out from the rest when relating to people–your capacity to be an esteeming person. Esteeming others is powerful because we each require a positive sense of self esteem to feel good about ourselves. Our sense of self esteem creates our mental self-image: how we experience who we are and how we feel about the self. When hyou are an esteeming person, you hold up a mirror to other people which reflects your respect towards them, your valuing of them as competent and capable individuals.
Esteeming happens when you freely share what you like, notice, or enjoy relative to the strengths and qualities that others exhibit and may not even be aware of. Without esteem, we operate in a vacuum, and we often don’t know what is good about ourselves. This capacity to esteem others helps them construct a positive attitude towards the self and offers them feedback on how they themselves affect others.
To be an esteeming person, start with yourself and then radiate outward. Model being positive, easy and comfortable with yourself as you live in self-accepting ways. Then, with your own esteem in place (plus a sense of well-being), you easily give recognition and validation to others.
In relationships–both with people at work and with significant others (partners, children, parents, siblings, friends)–esteem becomes the capacity to give positive “strokes” for what others do and for who they are. Promoting the self-esteem of others is an important aspect of caring for them.
It is interesting to recognize the power of this skill and how often we withhold the little recognitions that build esteem in others. Recently you may have thought of something nice but failed to say it. Sharing thoughts and perceptions as they happen is what keeps esteeming alive and fresh. People who feel free to express esteem seem to draw others to them because it feels good being around them. Who wants to be around someone who never has anything good to say. This deesteeming hurts and we tend to avoid those people who practice it. In contrast being around an esteeming person leaves us smiling inside!