There’s Only One Thing People Remember About You — Yes, One

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Image adapted via Wikimedia Commons

Every once in a while, I hear something that I want to fold up small and slip into the deepest nooks and crannies of my heart — to be taken out when I need it again.

Maya Angelou's words often work in this way for me. While I love so very much of what she has said and stood for, these words are the ones I've kept with me: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We spend so much of our time wondering what others think of us, how we look in our jeans, how our cookies turned out, how we sound when we talk. Life's dirty little secret is that no one really and truly cares about these things, but they will always attach to us how we made them feel.

And this is what I try to remember as I maneuver my words and my thoughts and my actions both online and in person.

I do one teeny tiny thing to try my very hardest to keep this at the forefront of who I am:

I flip the quote into a question: How do I want to make that person I'm interacting with feel? And when I do that, life's What should I dos? that often seem so daunting suddenly simplify and become obvious.

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I want to make people feel good and smart and worthy, loved and appreciated and heard, lucky and lovely and seen. I want to make people feel important to me.

So when I feel myself veering and disliking how I'm acting and sounding and being, I can come back to Maya. And really, that's a very good place to be.

Four life coaches share why this works, why it's important, and why how we make others feel is what we are remembered for.

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Image via Kelly Hadous

Kelly Hadous is the CEO and founder of Win The Room. Kelly is a master certified executive coach, public speaker, and communication strategist.

Kelly says, “Know how to dance in the moment. How you are perceived is directly dependent upon how well or not you relate to others. Start by focusing on the other person in front of you. Don't think of your mental to-do list, instead relate in real time — be in the moment.

“Also, we are influenced by emotions. Therefore, project emotions of love, trust, and confidence onto others. In turn, they'll mirror this positive projection to you.”

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Image via Dorina Kalaty

Dorina Kalaty is a life coach who simultaneously supports and challenges clients to believe in themselves and their dreams enough to design and take actions.

Dorina says, “There is an energy that people give off through their actions, tones, ways of being that directly affect others. This energy can be contagious. Through positive actions, we can inspire others to be their best. When speaking in a negative (depressed or angry tone), we have the ability to make the other person anxious or sad. Most people are sensitive to the energy of others, and that is why we have to be aware and responsible with how we communicate.

“One great tip is to pause and take a few deep breaths throughout the day to allow oxygen in and create space for positive thoughts to come in. All positive actions, words, tones begin with positive thoughts.”

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Image via Toni Coleman, LCSW

Toni Coleman, LCSW is a psychotherapist and relationship coach.

She says, “We communicate many nonverbal messages to others through our actions, tone of voice, and attitude. These are sent from and received on a subliminal level, which makes them more powerful than what we communicate with our words because they cannot be manipulated to hide our emotions and/or to deceive others.

“One example is how we can express empathy using eye contact, facial expression, and body movements to let someone know we hear them, are connecting with what they are saying, and care about how they are feeling. This is a powerful tool for anyone who is helping someone deal with a loss or trauma. They can assist them in feeling less alone, in believing that someone cares, and this can help the person in need feel comfortable enough to ask for support and accept it if offered. They realize they don't have to suffer alone and in silence and that help is available.”

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Image via James Demaria Photography

Kahshanna Evans is the founding principal for Kissing Lions Public Relations, a boutique media hub headquartered in Manhattan that supports emerging brands, small businesses, and mission-based organizations.

She says, “I am a big believer in sacred, constructive dialogue. It means that, even though we are not perfect, we make a conscious choice to remain aware of our own emotional presence and impulses while also considering how we impact others. This doesn't mean feigning a ‘nice' passive talk; it means taking ownership about personal experiences versus needs, expectations, and boundaries in relation to the other person.”

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Do you believe Maya's words? How do you want to make others feel?

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There’s Only One Thing People Remember About You — Yes, One

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can get your child a phone and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She liv ... More

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