(Financial expert Toni V. Martin’s 3-part series on Values breaks down how to ensure you give sufficient energy to what you value most.)
In the first part of this series, I explained that we spend our time on what we value most. When it comes to people, it’s not just the measurement of time that demonstrates their value to us. Communication, appreciation and dedication are the markers by which we can evaluate who we value the most in our lives.
In all relationships, there are inevitable times when another person simply gets on your nerves. In romantic situations, enough of these can add up and cause you to call it quits. With family, you might stop going around certain relatives. In a friendship, you might stop returning their calls.
For whatever reason, you’ve determined that the person doesn’t add enough value to your life for you to maintain contact with them. When you value people, you communicate on a regular basis. Not only do you enjoy the contact, but you genuinely care about how they’re doing and want to know if there’s any way you can assist them.
This leads to how we show appreciation. You’d be surprised at how far the smallest gestures of recognition go, no matter how cheesy. Something about a certificate of recognition makes everyone feel good.
I love stationery, so I take advantage of my stash to send affirming messages to my friends. They’re always so touched that I took the time to hand-write, address, stamp and mail warm words and thoughts to them. Whether I get cards back or not, it’s a simple way to let them know that their presence in my life is noted and appreciated.
Have you ever noticed how we feel free to let the people closest to us bear the brunt of our foul moods, quirks and idiosyncracies while we’re polite to a fault to people we don’t even care for? Are you quick to “cut people off” and let relationships fall by the wayside?
Once, in a fight with a friend, I told them to “replace me if you can.” I didn’t say that to rub in how wonderful I am, but to say good luck trying to replicate my level of loyalty, nurturing, and understanding in a johnny-come-lately acquaintance.
The true qualities of friendship are developed over time and trial, and shouldn’t be callously tossed at the first sign of discord.
Another time, I let a misunderstanding with a good friend fester, telling myself it was no big deal. But when it was pointed out to me, I realized that I have chased and called lesser people to maintain ties. This friend had been too good for me to be satisfied with seeing our connection wither. I sucked it up and extended the olive branch to right whatever wrongs I’d done.
Do your words and actions validate the people you value?
Bougie Financial Columnist Toni V. Martin’s work has appeared in national magazines and media outlets. Her newest book, “Prepping for Prosperity: How to Be Rich Before You Get Rich,” is available at tonivmartin dot com.