I received the nicest compliment I’ve ever gotten in my whole life the other day. I want to share it with you, not to toot my own horn but because it really sparked something in me.

I was pulled aside by my director at work. She said she was visiting with a new CNA on the unit and the new CNA had shared with her that I made her feel really important.

That’s the nicest thing I’ve heard anyone say about me.

I’ve not always been a nice person. In high school, I straight up wasn’t a kind person. In elementary school, I’m sure I’m labeled as a bully in someone’s book. Even through nursing school, competition, jealousy and anxiety took the wheel more often than not. If you’re reading this and I’ve offended you, I’m truly sorry. I’m ashamed of things I’ve done or said. I’m working every day to be a better person.

When she shared that with me at work, I finally felt like maybe I was getting somewhere on this self help journey of mine. Maybe I’ve come far enough in healing myself and my own thoughts that I can be a light to someone else. If I get to the end of my life and all I’ve done is make someone feel important, I think that’s an incredible accomplishment.

Ever since that day, I’ve given so much energy into making other people feel important. That means I’m a little weird. I’m the person who strikes up conversations with random strangers, I’m the kind of person who gets too chatty in the check out line. It has lead to some really incredible connections and conversations over the past few months.

I can’t remember which book it was but Brene Brown talks about how she used to get really intimidated by meeting with some really big names or celebrities until she remembers “People, people, people.” They are just people.

I remembered this when I was hanging out on one of the nursing forums I frequent. The question posed was “What do nurses do that drive doctors crazy” and vice versa – there was a lot of really petty answers but over and over again, the doctors requested kindness. A lot of responses were “say hi to me in the hallway, don’t just ignore me or pretend you don’t know me because we aren’t working together, I’m a person too who just wants to feel included.”

So so so many times I’ve seen someone “higher up” than me, we’ve met in the hallway and I’ve thought “they are too cool to talk to me” or I was intimidated by them. Now I remember, “People, people, people, we are all just people.” People want to feel included. People want to feel noticed. Even the big shots.

When I think “they are too cool to notice me” or I keep my eyes glued to the floor, or I don’t acknowledge someone outside of our work setting, I used to think I was sparing them from having to interact with lowly old me. Now I realize that may come off as “I’m intimidated by you” or worse “I’m too cool for you.”

I want to conclude this blog post with a few prompts to keep in mind:

What am I doing to make others feel important? What would make me feel important?

Thanks for reading guys!

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  1. Kim J LeMere
    March 21, 2021 / 1:11 pm

    How wonderful that your supervisor thought it share with you what the CNA told her, it doesn’t take much to show others a kindness. It can be a simple hello, open a door, assist someone who is struggling with a box at the post office or groceries at the store. What you said is true, people, people, we are all just people.

  2. Elle
    March 21, 2021 / 2:04 pm

    Thank you for showing the CNA her role is valuable. It takes a team to heal a patient and licensure isn’t the key…..teamwork is the key.

    Sidenote: I detest the word ‘just’. No one is a ‘just’. When I hear people say “I am just……” I ask them not to use that word.

    I have no doubt we all have behaviors in our past we’d like to reverse-I most certainly do. You’ve acknowledged to yourself what you don’t want to perpetuate and that’s 90% of getting there! Yea you!!!!

    Happy Sunday 🙂

  3. Susan the Farm Quilter
    March 21, 2021 / 8:05 pm

    Your supervisor should have told you that in the presence of others!! When I was teaching, I had a choice to ride the kid that was misbehaving or praise the kid who was doing a great job…can you guess which one produced the fruit I wanted to harvest in my classroom?? One compliment and every kid in the class was on task 150%, desperately wanting that verbal pat on the back. Everyone wants attention, to be acknowledged as a person with value, and sometimes negative attention is better than no attention. I had a step-daughter (and have a FIL) who treated me like a chair…I was ignored unless they wanted me for something. I prayed for them whenever God would bring them to my mind…and now my step-daughter and I get along very well. My FIL, he is slipping into dementia (and I haven’t seen him in 5 years because I’ve been caring for my dad in another state), so I don’t know what to expect when I get home. You have been a CNA and know how hard the good ones work…good for you for lifting her up…she’ll work all the harder for you because you made her feel so good!! And now you will work even harder to acknowledge the value of others!! Best way ever!!

  4. Linda
    March 21, 2021 / 9:55 pm

    You are growing up. All the hard things you have been through are making you a better person. I love that you were kind to that young girl who may have been in the same place you were a few years back. Goes back to always treat others the way you wish to be treated.

  5. Lori
    March 22, 2021 / 2:35 am

    What a great post, thank you for sharing.

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