Give your words as a gift.
This is what I mean. My friend Noemi was telling me about her favorite Korean restaurant, confessing that she frequented the same establishment so many times per week that it was teetering on embarrassment.
Sometimes she goes on her own, other times with family, and often she will take a new friend. In fact, just last week after she finished up lunch, her friend went up to pay at the counter and began to compliment the owners.
“This was the most delicious dish! No wonder Noemi comes here all the time! It was absolutely incredible.” Noemi watched as the owner’s face lit up, as he bowed to show gratitude, and motioned for his wife to come out from the kitchen and receive this compliment with appreciation.
Noemi walked out of the restaurant and began to laugh, not because it was funny, but because she could hardly believe that in all the weeks and months of visiting this restaurant, she’d never once thought to actually verbalize that she felt the same way.
“I’ve taken friends there. I’ve tipped well. I keep going back,” she shook her head. “But never once did it cross my mind to actually TELL THEM how much I loved their food!”
We both laughed, and then took a serious beat. How many other areas do I do this in my life? When did I last pause long enough to thank my daughter’s soccer coach for his commitment to this team? Or the barista who remembers my name at Café Ladro. The one who sees my Honda Odyssey in the drive-thru and starts making my Americano before I even order it?
Now I know I’m biased because I’ve built a career on using words, but perhaps that means I also have seen the return on the investment. Your words are a gift. Spend them on those you love!