Showing Interest in Others Can Change Your Life!
The question "How are you?" can be extremely valuable. When we use it, we tell others that we care. And when someone else asks us the question, it shows they care.
Feeling that those around us are busy with their own affairs, with no time for anything else, is common. Life goes at a hectic pace these days. Most of us find it difficult to stop for a moment and leave all our duties to one side in order to think about those around us. Sometimes, showing interest in others with a simple “How are you?” can help so much.
Asking someone how they are can become the gateway to closeness with the people we love. However, sometimes, we’re so focused on ourselves, how we’re doing at work or school, or how we’re going to carry out our next projects that we totally lose our way.
When someone looks us in the eye and sincerely asks us how we’re doing, we usually feel that sense of joy that comes from feeling recognized, transcendent, relevant, and deserving.
The love we give and receive from those around us makes life much more meaningful.
If we stop to think about this reality, we’ll realize that other seemingly vital areas are actually much more superficial. In fact, the support they can provide us is far more ephemeral. On the other hand, social support is deep and highly rewarding. For example, without social support, it’s difficult to have good self-esteem.
The value of asking this question|
The value of showing interest in others and asking someone “How are you?” in a transparent and genuine way, goes far beyond those three words. Its importance stems from the interest they reveal. To perceive that another person is interested in us feeds our self-esteem. This is something inherent to human beings.
In early tribal groups, if you weren’t accepted in your tribe, you were unlikely to survive in an environment full of wild beasts and adversities. However, teaming up with others of your own species highly increased your chances of survival.
Being valued by other people is something that’s burned into our genes. Having other people’s attention is a great gift that can help to remove our sadness or the feeling of emptiness in a matter of minutes.
However, we need to be clear that it isn’t a one-directional issue. Do you want to increase the likelihood that others will take an interest in you and ask you how you feel? And even give you their help when you need it? Well, obviously, you have to do the same for them.
But you need to do it in a genuine way, not selfishly, expecting something in return. This point is very important because it reflects a sincere love for others. If you don’t do this, it’s hardly likely that your expectations of how you think others should treat you will be realized. If you want to receive love, then you must give it first.
How to show interest in others
Showing interest in others and having them take an interest in you isn’t an easy goal to achieve. As we explained above, sometimes, the pace of life is so fast that it’s very difficult to have time to look around. This inertia keeps you focused only on your own life; you only have tunnel vision.
In this dynamic, it isn’t unusual for you to wake up one day and realize that the people who were counting on you no longer do. You’ve said “no” to them so many times and hardly ever prioritized them.
In order to broaden your view, there are a series of steps you can take to recover your ability to take a genuine interest in others.
- Force yourself to ask at least two people every day how they’re doing. You can use this as an exercise to see if you’re really capable of doing it. People tend to monopolize conversations with others by talking a lot about themselves. This egocentric attitude doesn’t help us take our eyes off ourselves, learn from others, or offer help if the other person is feeling frustrated or unhappy.
- Realize that being interested in others will make you happier. We often base our happiness on abstract ideas that may or may not happen in the future. “I’ll be happy when I find my dream job.” “I’ll be happy when I pass this exam.” “I’ll be happy when I get married.” It’s quite true that all these things can generate certain well-being, and we could even say happiness. The problem is that, as soon as you adapt to the new situation, a new “baseline” for happiness is created in you and you need something to find fulfillment again. It’s a fleeting well-being. On the other hand, maintaining social relationships based on loyalty and truth keeps us happy most of the time.
As the writer Leon Tolstoy said, he who helps others helps himself.
More steps to take an interest in others
- What goes around, comes around. When you start to show interest in others, your world changes. If you felt that everyone seemed to be only interested in their own business, you’ll now notice that you’ll receive more messages, more calls, more visits, and, in short, more attention. There’ll be reciprocity. This relationship with others will bring you many benefits. It will increase your self-esteem and psychological well-being, and help you in your own personal projects. It’ll also help you to learn new things and even boost your immune system.
- Forget about your own business. Sometimes, focusing on other people can actually be a relief. When you’re trying to deal with your own situations, you can feel exhausted. Every once in a while, try to switch off from your own business and get some rest by getting involved in other people’s. It may be more interesting than you think! Ask your foreign co-worker why he decided to move to your city. Ask your mother why she fell in love with your father or why they chose your name and not others. Sometimes, other people’s stories can surprise you.
- Take action. Start asking those around you today how they’re doing. And, not only that, take action! Invite a relative you haven’t seen for a long time for a coffee. Say something to encourage a colleague who seems to be tired. Listen to a friend without interrupting them, smile at your neighbor in the elevator, and take some food to work to share with others. There are many ways to think about other people and their situations. Remember, just like the boomerang effect, that almost everything will come back to you in the form of something positive.
As you can see, genuine concern for others often creates true well-being in your life. Happiness comes, to a large degree, from being with those around you, and this is something you should cultivate.
A sincere look, an attempt to reach out, and transmitting the fact to others that “I’m here if you need me” can be more valuable than anything material.
Discovering ourselves in this way will make us freer, more human, and people are immersed in relationships based on love and truth.