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Don't Forget To Say So: The Importance Of Expressing Yourself To The Ones You Love

Updated on January 7, 2011

Don't Just Think It, Say It!

For many men and some women, telling others how they feel is not the easiest thing to do. Also, many individuals, walk around with a stockpile of great intentions galloping in their heads. Maybe they know they love their daughter, their wife, or their father. Maybe they know they appreciate their boss, their neighbor or their friend. But they never let the other person know, and both people are poorer for it.

Who hasn't heard of the father who wasn't able to tell his son, "I love you"? You might be surprised at the amount of women who are unable to say this to their own mothers or daughters. Not to mention, long time friends who are afraid to express this most basic human accolade to each other because of social morays or prejudice. Again, all these people are poorer in spirit and in mind because they just will not open their mouths and say those three little words.

Why bother?

Here's the million dollar question! Who cares? If you don't open your mouth and tell someone, no one cares. Not you, not the one who appreciates you. People can spend their entire life walking around with a burden of grief on their minds. Some need to know they are forgiven. Some need to know they are loved. Some need to know their hard work is noticed. Whether it is in the working environment or in the home, people crave recognition. When they don't get it, they slowly build resentment, sometimes that buds into hostility. To break all that negativity up, all it takes is for you to lay down your pride, let down your guard just a little, and let people know.

Some of us are walking around on this earth with only the slightest inkling of a conscience. You know who you are! Some of us have achieved great wealth either monetarily or in recognition within our chosen field of study or by one successful endeavor or another. No one does it alone. Despite your ardent vitality or potent individuality, you still needed at least a few friends, coworkers, neighbors, family or all of them to get you where you are today. Those people need some credit, it makes their world a better place and consequently makes yours kinder as well.

Saying You Love Someone Isn't Easy For Many People

Photo Credit: Ben Zoltak detail from Uptown Savages oil painting. All rights reserved.
Photo Credit: Ben Zoltak detail from Uptown Savages oil painting. All rights reserved.

Start Small, Make Big Gains Emotionally

The Workplace

Now this doesn't mean, after you've been working for a company for three weeks you should run over to your Supervisor and let him know you love him! Just start out with a, "Good to see you." Once in a while. Or if they helped you with a particular project, chime in with a, "I appreciate the help."

Again, these little phrases may seem a bit saccharin sweet to the uninitiated! But they go a long way to building better rapport with your boss or conversely your workers. I know by now, there will be some bitter, cynical reader saying to themselves, "No thanks, the thought of telling my laborers that I appreciate their efforts makes me look weak."

On the contrary, it's the weak who are unable to express themselves. Welcome to the age of communication, may we take your order? You see, old fashioned notions of quiet wordless relationships are an echo of the past. If you haven't noticed yet, we are living in the Information Age. That doesn't mean all that glitters is gold, it simply means we are all doing more to manage our own knowledge and information. Self expression is it's own Fountain Of Youth, or Golden Goose. If it helps, think of self expression as dollars coming out of your mouth. At least in the workplace, communication means money.

If you enjoyed this article, check out Ben Zoltak's first inspirational eBook

For Friends, Family And Neighbors

Again, it's better in most cases to start out small, especially for friends and neighbors. Just a simple, "Good morning." Goes a long way. Maybe eventually turn that into a few kind words about your neighbors garden or newly painted trim. You might tell your friend, "I love you man" when you are both stumbling around drunk like in the old television commercials, but do you ever mention it when you'll both remember?

For some people, telling their friends or neighbors they appreciate them, is akin to cutting off their own fingers. Rather than play out that metaphor in your mind, just take a minute out of your day and let them know you care about favors they have done or care they have taken in your life.

For your family, it's just as important to speak out loud, in a clear voice, and vocalize your feelings once in awhile. Again, many people think others can read their minds,  they tell themselves, "They know I love them." When in fact, they might not! It's easy to just go about your day to day, paying bills, cleaning house, running errands. You might feel that all of these are expressions of your caring for your family. You are correct! But your voice means so much to your father, wife, son or daughter, you might not realize it.

Start to realize it. Open your mouth and say so, let them know you love them. Say the words, "I appreciate what you did." Or "I forgive you for your mistake." Or "You really saved my life." It's important for everyone to hear the words. Express yourself a little bit at a time, and make the world a better place.


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    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 2 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks for the warm praise Tami, comes at a good time for me. I agree on the stoic types part too, I've been among that crowd in the past and don't miss it!

      I appreciate your enthusiasm!


    • Tamirogers profile image

      Tami Rogers 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

      I love this hub. So important to do and yet it's easy to forget.I have had many of those "stoic quiet types" in my life at different times but I've pretty much moved on. I would rather be in the company of loud, messy, telling-it-like-it-is people who often make me laugh until it hurts and cry openly.

      Great Hub, Voting up and following you!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      stars439 thanks for stopping in again, I appreciate it! You made me reread my article here just in time, I needed it! I agree with you that the world has a chance to be a better place, unfortunately there are some monsters out there, but we can do our best to kill 'em with kindness as they say...

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Geekchick! Thank you for sharing your story of kindness, sounds like that person left real footprints in your heart!

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Excellent hub. It would really be nice if our entire world of individuals could forgive one another and could try to put and end to violence and could think of one another as sisters and brothers. God Bless you for wanting the best in humanity.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thank you for aiming my conscious thought towards Gitche Manitou my friend Niteriter, I sense there's something good there to learn! Back in the day friends were gay but didn't sleep together, and people got high on bourbon! Ha! I love you too, turns out it's a little easier to type then to say outloud!

    • Niteriter profile image

      Niteriter 8 years ago from Canada

      Okay, Ben, you've broken me down. I LOVE you man, I really do! We are brothers, one in the Gitche Manitou!

      (For those of you who might wonder, the synonyms for gay that have meaning for me fall within the concept of "cheerful".)

    • geekchick profile image

      geekchick 8 years ago

      Great hub. Even when you know someone loves you, it's always nice to hear it and know they care enough to express it.

      I always say that it's the smallest things that make me the happiest. In college there was a girl on my dorm floor who I occasionally watched foreign horror movies with, but that's all we ever did and it wasn't that often. On my birthday she brought me a rose and said it was just something small for my birthday and since Valentine's Day was right around the corner she thought it fit for that as well. I didn't even remember telling her when my birthday was. To some people a flower may not be much, but from someone I didn't spend much time, just having her remember and acknowledge my birthday was really special.

      It's always great to have a reminder to show or tell someone how much they mean to you. Thanks for encouraging and reminding us to do this!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Dolores, we try to get by an by right? I thank the Great Spirit for all the people who reached out to me when I have been low.

      Katrina, thank you for the affirmation. Also, good to have the image of a contorted yoga master on my article, I like it!

    • Katrina Ariel profile image

      Katrina Ariel 8 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      Communication, especially clear and kind communication, is so important. This is a great contribution!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Ben - we live in an age of cynicism and anger. Maybe we could change the whole style of meanness by just being kind. Like you.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Big smile ralwus, I love you too. Even difficult to type sometimes but there it is! Thanks for the acknowledgment so that I'm not out here singing alone!

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      LOL I love you Ben for this brilliant hub. You told the truth and so many are just too mean to love anyone but they selves. Some say those 3 words too easy. My neighbors all know me and how I feel for them. I truly love them all. We are very close, but it took time of course. Thanks bud. CC

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks Bearclaw! Well put, and your intuition is correct. I'm pretty outgoing, usually gregarious, but I enjoy a lot of privacy too. You are perceptive in that I did write this more for others. Maybe it's from being raised the oldest of six kids, I tend to dole out advice. Anyway, for some reason I file it under, "writing about what I know." I enjoy your observations!

    • bearclawmedia profile image

      bearclawmedia 8 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

      Ben, this is a great effort, I do not some how believe this is one from your back yard. Was a friend the inspiration for such an article. I have a strong intuition and I would guess that you are outgoing and if I may a bit gregarious. Nice hub never the less. Well spoken as always. Bearclaw

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Happy New Year Mike!

      I get what you mean about the false sincerity or some might call it effusiveness. I've felt as though I've been that guy in the past so I think you got to the heart of the matter in that when people do express thanks or appreciation they have to do it well and often. Thanks for the insightful response as always. (sincerely)

    • Mike Lickteig profile image

      Mike Lickteig 8 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      It never hurts to show appreciation for someone. I worked for a man who knew the value of appreciating people, but was so personally filled with arrogance and paranoia that when he said something nice, no one believed it--it had to be because he needed something.

      So, I guess what I mean to say is it never hurts to offer genuine appreciation to someone. We can all use the boost.

      Happy New Year, Ben.