December 28, 2018
Imagine that you accidentally cross paths with someone you befriended at camp. Ten years later, this person not only knows who you are; he or she enthusiastically recalls the experiences the two of your shared. You exchange phone numbers and agree to meet again. The experience makes your day.
Indeed, as Selda Koydemir—director of the London-based Research Maze and lead author of a paper published last May called “Feeling special, feeling happy”—recently told Psychology Today, being unforgettable is both flattering and humbling, and is tied to our sense of self-worth.
Good politicians always make sure to remember details about the constituents they encounter. Good friends and loved ones do so authentically. It’s a truism: Being genuinely interested in other people makes other people genuinely interested in us.
And the opposite is true as well, the researchers found. Another common human experience is the letdown of being forgotten. In an ever-more-competitive society, we want to feel that, regardless of our personal attributes and talents, we are valuable and special.
The recent study, reports Psychology Today, found that a personal sense of uniqueness is positively associated with authentic living; which, in turn, is positively related to happiness. Similarly, feeling special means gives a person the “permission” to walk his or her own path in life, rather than seeking to conform to external influences. Hence, people who affirm our uniqueness—faults, flaws, and all—may become friends for life.
Here is the best part: It is easy to become a source of authentic self-worth for others. Share your fond memories, and make someone’s day.
Research contact: @seldakoydemir