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  • Writer's picturebryan hendley

This Is Important To Someone

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

It’s worth a reminder that when we are involved in any type of exchange for money, time, information, or even affection, that the interaction is important to someone. For at least one of the two parties, the exchange is important.

We’ll be better off if we’ll treat them that way.

When someone goes in for a massage, they are not there (only) because they want another human being to slather lotion on them and rub them down. They are there because someone gave them a gift, or because they have worn their bodies out working, or because the stress of the week/month/year has finally caught up with them. Maybe they’ve saved up their money for this special occasion, and this is a real treat for them.

No matter the cost or relative expense, this is an important purchase for them because they have paid for it and they probably have some idea about what they would like to get out of it.

The purchase of flowers at the grocery or local flower shop likely holds more meaning than the simple exchange of money for flowers. Someone is looking for a gift for one they love, to freshen up their home, to congratulate, or to apologize. While punching the clock in these situations, it may be easy to forget that these are important moments for someone. Again, no matter the relative cost they have paid for it and they have some hope in mind about the outcome they desire or what the purchase will bring. If it’s not important to them, perhaps it could be important to you. Everything can’t be important, but we can treat everything with care. We can complete our actions with integrity. We can decide that it matters how we treat someone else, that it matters how we do our job, or that it matters how we present our product, material, or ourselves.

It’s certainly possible the other person isn’t expecting much of anything. Maybe it’s just a routine transaction, a “normal” experience, with the bar set so low that they expect nothing more than a little common decency or an exchange. You know what? Some people will only expect the exchange, and the “common” decency, at least for them, could be a welcome surprise, exceeding expectations. We can make the interaction or experience feel important. If we choose.

You can choose to make the experience or exchange a meaningful one for you, and in doing so, for your customer, client, or counterpart.

In these interactions, we can meet, exceed, or fail to meet the expectations of the person sitting across from us. Since we can’t always be sure, it’s best to assume the exchange is important to the person sitting across from us. We will encounter people from time to time with unmeetable expectations. Here’s hoping that you have the discernment to recognize when you encounter these situations, and the wisdom to know that you can’t please everyone.

However, operating under the belief that the person across from you values the purchase, the moment, or the experience, will help you honor the moment you are both in together. At worst you give a great effort and fail to appease the unappeasable. At best, you make someone’s day.

*One word of caution, this works best if we operate under the belief that it is important to someone, not that it should be. We’ll only be disappointed if we think something should be important to someone, but they don’t act like we think they should.

No need to be disappointed.

If you are unsure, act as if it’s important to you, or under the belief that it is important to them.

I’m pulling for you, Bryan


I encourage others through teaching, coaching, and writing. If you want to learn more about me or follow along, check me out here. You can listen to my podcast here. Check out my book, Be Kind, It Might Be Their Birthday, here.

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