Select Page

By Mrs. Debbie Selengut

Rosh Chodesh Sivan

To My Dear Kallas, עמו”ש

Respect and dignity are two of the most basic human needs.

We need to feel seen, heard, understood and appreciated to thrive.

And then, even if things are difficult, and even if I can’t get what I want, feeling seen, heard, understood and appreciated, might help me through it.

We all have (reasonable or unreasonable) expectations of the people in our life.

He/she should be doing or saying something.

Or not doing or saying something.

Or acting a certain way or not acting that way.

The effort we can expend on trying to get someone else to change, to do or say what I wish they would, can be enormous, draining, and futile.

A huge percentage of people’s questions and frustrations in relationships surround getting another person to change; and most of the time we cannot.

Putting thought and attention into how we relate to that person though, can be where the healthiest and most sustainable changes might take place.

For a small child it might be as simple as pointing out how kind they were to their sibling, which will create a desire to do it again to earn our recognition.

When it comes to older children or adults however, it’s’ not as simple, because it’s not just about saying something positive, it’s going to be about how we really feel towards them.

A generic compliment probably will be seen for what it is, a generic complement.

To treat a person respectfully and with dignity, we have to truly see what is respectable and dignified about them.

We have to see their greatness, choose to focus on what is special and dignified about them, and build on that.

When someone tells me something they learned from me, or gained from something I said or did, it fuels me, not just to do it again but to do it even better.

Telling a child, that you noticed how he stayed quiet when he was teased by a sibling, something that many adults find difficult, gives him the confidence that he can do it again.

Telling a coworker (that is not always easy to work alongside with) how something she said or did impacts you doing your job better, will strengthen her resolve to continue and do more.

Telling a husband (who can be very focused on his job, or his learning) how much it meant to you that he checked in with you during the day “just because” will (hopefully) create more of an awareness in him of how much it means to you.

In all of these scenarios, the focus is on how I see the other person, and how I speak to the other person, it’s not about “getting them to change”.

This is the wisdom of Chazal: כמים פנים אל פנים כן לב האדם,

Seeing the best in people brings out the best in people.

Wishing you a wonderful month!



Mrs. Debbie Selengut