I’m not sure there is anything more human than wanting to feel special. Is it a cultural thing? Partially for sure.
Show of hands: how many of you had parents that would constantly tell you how special you are? Or, how many of you have parents that always made you feel like you weren’t studying hard enough, never put in enough effort to make them happy?
Whether you were told how special you are, or told how special you could be if you weren’t so lazy, the end result is basically the same. You’ve developed a need to feel special.
Are we special? Yes and no. In a sense, everything that exists is special. But at the same time, we’re really no different from each other.
We’re all born with, more or less, the same cognitive and physical capabilities. Some of us grow to develop those capabilities more than others, but we’re nevertheless incredibly alike, you and I. I’m not more special than you. Nor is anyone you adore or admire. We’re just people.
And that’s what scares us. We’re just people. We’re just living beings that, more often than not, feel lost, confused, and alone. We find ourselves the star of a movie that we aren’t particularly certain comes with a happy ending. We’re a bit scared, and usually not brave enough to admit it. We’re just people… but we want to be more.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re fading into the background. Think back to all those times that you felt like you needed to be seen and heard, your silent shouts falling to deaf ears.
We want to be more than the animals we actually are. We want to be special. Anything anyone you consider great has accomplished, was accomplished to reaffirm our want and often belief that we’re special.
And that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s no secret that we’re egocentric creatures. We do the things we do in order to be happy. The question is: what is being happy? I’d have to argue that being happy is little more than being made to feel special.
Happiness is the feeling you get when you feel special in some way or form. So what exactly is feeling special? What does it mean to be made to feel special?
We feel special when others make us feel like we’re a part of their life. When we’re made to feel like we take up a space in someone’s mind or heart. In a sense, we’re on an endless search to connect with others, to become a part of their lives — that’s what it basically boils down to.
Think about it… Why do you do the things you do? The goals you set, the dreams you have, your wishes and hopes, does a single one of them involve you and only you? Is there any aspect of your life where there isn’t at least some other person there, either sharing the moment with you, or being affected by it in some way or other?
For egocentric beings, we’re incredibly reliant on one another. Mind you, this is coming from a person that isn’t the biggest fan of the majority of individuals in this world.
Not that I have anything against anyone, but the world is filled with ignorant people. I don’t get along well with ignorant people. Yet this only increases my need to have rational, caring, respectful people in my life.
Whether we’re talking about the love of your life, your closest friends or family members, or even the halal guy that gives you amazing chicken and rice at 2 in the morning, they all want the same thing; they want to feel like you’re not just looking past them or through them. They want to have their existence acknowledge in a warm and pleasant manner.
Smile at the barista when you buy that cup of coffee in the morning. Say hello to your coworkers. Check in with your parents and grandparents regularly. Text and call the one you love, letting them know that you’re there. No one is asking for anything over the top here. Not everything has to be made into some grand gesture. In fact, it’s the little things that connect us.
These are all people that are a part of your life in some way. Everyone you come into contact with plays some role. Most roles are small, but that doesn’t mean they don’t play their part. Imagine how much better the world would be if everyone simply allowed people in a bit more.
You don’t need to be sharing your life stories, but most of us have barricaded ourselves in, and rolled up the drawbridge. We’re so busy chasing our dreams, not realizing that we’re overlooking the most important part of those dreams: the human interaction they allow for.
If you want to make someone feel special, notice them. Talk to them. Be nice to them. Show them that they aren’t living unnoticed. Be nice. Be a decent human being. Allow yourself to make connections because it’s the connections we make, that decide the lives we lead.
Oh and one last thing, no matter what she says, she does want chocolates and flowers.