A while back I was sitting on a bench swing with my niece’s little daughter. She was three years old and she was having a bad day. We had come to sit on the swing to give her (and her mother) a break. It was a beautiful summer day, the sun was shining, the birds singing, but a dark cloud hung over this sweet child. I tried to cheer her by pointing out the pretty flowers, the puffy clouds. It was no use. My normally chatty friend was quiet and blue. I told her how much I like summer and on impulse I said, “And I like you, too. You are one of my favorite people.”
She was quite still for a moment. I thought she would continue to ignore me. To my amazement the darkness in her countenance lifted and she started chattering away, all happiness restored.
The transformation astounded me. I had never considered the power of the words I like you. We always speak of the importance of telling people we love them, but not that we like them. As I pondered this, I realized that being liked is a fundamental need of human beings. It gives us a sense of belonging, a belief in our worth to the world at large, not just to the ones closest to us. When we tell someone we like them, we tell them that we accept them as they are, that we enjoy their company, that we value them as a unique individual.
When was the last time you told someone you liked them? It’s a simple gift to give, yet a most powerful one. So go ahead and shine some light into someone’s dark world; let them know that not only do you love them, you like them, too.