It has been a little while since I wrote an editorial piece, so I figured it was about time again. I am going to be writing about how to be a value giver, which to me is the epitome of what it means to be a good person and human. This of course, is my opinion, so feel free to disagree, but I find that to be a good friend, a good person, or just a decent human being, you need to give value. What does that mean?
I define being a value giver, first and foremost as someone who you want to be around. Think about your friends, think about their personalities, what about them draws them to you? To me, I want to be around people that strengthen me and make me a better person. I don’t want to be around someone who brings me down, who makes my friends feel awkward or who stirs up trouble among them. Naomi says in the The Go-Giver that
Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value rather than what you take in payment
Social value can be defined as many different things. Some examples are:
- telling funny jokes
- coming up with fun things to do
- being very good-looking or well dressed
- buying or bringing drinks
- introducing new people
- being an awesome wingman (or winggirl)
- pushing people out of their comfort zones
- the ability to get over one’s approach anxiety
- being a fun, outgoing person
These are all little things that you can do for your friends, that maybe in and of themselves might not cost you much (the key here being that price is not the same thing as value), but they are an investment that you are making in your friends that will pay off on its own. This is not something that you calculate or keep track of, this is something that over time will give back to you automatically. A few other tips to remember when being a social giver:
1. Be Postive: We all have dirty laundry, we all go through terrible things. But the internet is not the place to air that laundry. Keep it private and to yourself and your close friends. I have drawn more strength from my best friends than I have ever gotten from a vaguely worded passive aggressive post on Facebook. Don’t do it. Things like “I need a girlfriend/boyfriend” or “I hate my life (or certain unnamed others)” doesn’t give you value, as a matter of fact, people read these posts and take away social value when they read them. You might be completely alone and sad, but that doesn’t mean anyone else needs to know.
2. Approach People: Ok, I know this is a hard one. Some people are not extroverts, and since I am, it is sometimes hard for me to understand why some people have a hard time with this one. But here is the thing, you don’t have to approach someone of the opposite sex. Find a passion, and go out and meet people that share them. For me, it was dancing! I love to dance, so I joined a dance class, and made many friends that way! Sit down and find out what makes you happy, and pursue it (and remember passive things like video games don’t really count). Pick something active, like rock climbing or hiking and start out small and work your way up. Set aside a day a week to do this, and make sure NOTHING interrupts it.
3. Help Others: Another fairly self explanatory one, but again one that people miss. I touched on this at the beginning, but again stop thinking about yourself and your problems and ask yourself what you can do to help other people’s problems. Buy a friend lunch, take someone out to the movies (as friends!), invite someone over to play board games, check other people’s facebook and see if someone is in need. Only by helping others, can you truly find happiness, and in turn build friendships.
4. Respect people’s beliefs: Some people may believe differently than you do, and that is ok (to an extent of course). Some times you need to get off your high horse and be humble. Not religious? Don’t bash other’s religions. Religious? Don’t bash or judge others for not being that way. Never feel superior to others because of their beliefs. Take it as a cue to reexamine your beliefs and make you better understand them.
So those are my thoughts, and that is my life. Want to make friends? Live for others. When you die, you won’t regret your life. 🙂