St Valentine’s Day is when people show their affection for a “significant other” or “others” by sending cards, flowers or chocolates with messages of love. It’s a perfect time to reach out across the miles, and not just to those with whom you are “in love,” but rather, to those you love and cherish. I have been known to send cards, sometimes silly, sometimes schmaltzy, to my adult children and close friends, much to their surprise. The reaction has always been positive, if not a “backatcha’!”
I think that in the era of communicating via social media, it’s meaningful to hear from someone personally, especially when they call to tell you how much you mean to them. Here’s why:
- These days, communicating across time zones make it difficult to retain relationships. Most people are busy juggling many roles and responsibilities, so if you’re unable to speak in person, feel free to leave your Valentine’s Day greeting as a recorded message. Of course, you’ll want to be brief, on purpose, and on point. This requires you to prepare what you want to say in advance.
- Don’t even think about sending an email message! The sound of the human voice is precious and even sacred. In the same way that every fingerprint is unique, every person has a distinct voice because of their unique physical properties and energy. Your voice – with its range, variety, volume, and even the silence of a well-placed pause for dramatic effect – reflects intangibles such as your wisdom, confidence, emotional state, and feeling of authority. Your personality adds distinctive but subtle variances to your unique voice including a regional accent or vocal emphases. No two voices are alike, not even identical twins’ voices. And the words you choose will take on shading and meaning because of how you say them.
Feeling tempted but stumped? Here is suggested language (and a few prompts) for a successful St. Valentine’s Day greeting to a special person in your life. Try this framework, but do personalize it:
- I’m calling to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.
- I hope you know how much you mean to me.
- You’ve gone out of your way when you….
- I’ll never forget the fact that you…
- I feel I can trust you with…
- I know I can count on you when the chips are down.
- You’ll always watch my back!
- When I’m in a funk, you’re the one who reminds me about my value and uniqueness.
- Thanks for being a great friend (sibling/colleague/mentor/neighbor, etc.)
Even if the individual picks up the phone, the above framework is designed as a “monologue,” in that one person speaks and the other listens. However and wherever you say it, I predict that the listener will be surprised and delighted by hearing you express your affection and appreciation on St. Valentine’s Day.
Here’s an experiment: Pick 1- 3 people you know who enhance your life. Using the template above, leave an appreciative Valentine’s Day personal message. Let me know what happens when you do!