Advertising
Advertising

What You Never Realized When You Read a Postcard

What You Never Realized When You Read a Postcard

Thomas Aquinas wrote,

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”

Nowadays, it’s all too easy to become a slave to convenience. We look to technology to make our lives simpler, but don’t seem to have more time for the things that we say are most important to us, like our friends.

Advertising

Previous generations used to communicate by letter, and it seems to have become a lost art. Sending an email or picking up the phone to make a call may get the message across, but it doesn’t have the same intimacy as picking up a pen and committing words to paper. Writing postcards may seem like an old-fashioned choice, but it can teach us some wonderful lessons about friendship.

I’ll Make Time for You

Sending someone a postcard is not the same thing as firing off an email or a text message. For one thing, you have to take the time to go to a store and select a postcard. What type of design will you choose to send to your friend? Will it be something whimsical or will you share an image from someplace you have visited on holiday? You have a number of options available to you.

You may even want to pick up several postcards at once so that you have a supply on hand in case you want to write a note and put it in the post. It’s a good idea to have a supply of stamps on hand as well so that you aren’t left looking for supplies in that instance.

Advertising

Once you have made your selection, you’ll need to think about what you want to say. Even though the space on a postcard is limited, you still have to think about what you want to convey to your friend. In these minutes (or however long it takes you to compose your message), your thoughts are focused on that other person. Your friend is at the top of your list then. Everyone should have someone who will take time out of their busy schedule, however briefly, to focus on them exclusively for just a little while.

I Care About You

Never, ever discount how much it means to someone to know that someone cares enough to send a personal message. Speaking by phone does have the advantage of being an immediate form of communication, but once the conversation is over, your friend will have to rely on his or her memory to relive it. With a postcard, the message can be read (and enjoyed) many times.

Your friend can even choose to show your postcard to his or her friends and family. Another option would be to display it on his or her desk or a bulletin board. The postcard is small enough that it can be carried in a purse or a briefcase, where it can be removed and read often.

Advertising

Email messages can be printed and kept, but they don’t have the same ambiance that a postcard does. It would be very easy to mistake this correspondence for a bill, a receipt or another ordinary piece of paper. It could easily be discarded with the rubbish, and you would be left with no memory of your friend’s thoughtfulness.

A postcard is a distinctive piece of correspondence that is unlikely to be mistaken for anything else. It is tangible proof that you can hold in your hand that someone cared enough about you to write a few words and send them to you. They are precious and should be preserved.

I’m Not Afraid to Stand Out from the Rest

Letter and postcard writing is becoming a lost art. Very few people take the time to pick up a pen and write anything anymore. Choosing to write to a friend in this manner shows him or her that you are a steady, rock-solid person who appreciates traditional values.

Advertising

If your friend had any doubts that you were the type of person who would stand out from the crowd, choosing to send a postcard is one way to make a definitive statement. What do you say on your postcard? You can share anything you wish. If you would put it in an email (and people share all kinds of intimate information electronically, despite the possibility that their email account could be hacked), you can write it on a postcard.

You Are Important to Me

We live in the digital age, and getting rid of something we don’t like or want to see anymore can come down to a few clicks or pressing a button. Writing a postcard sends the signal that you think more of your friend than that. You are saying quite clearly that they are an important part of your life.

You took time out of your day, evening or night to write something down and make a permanent record of it. You sent it to your friend in a form that they could keep and refer to as often as they wish. This is not something you would do for a person who meant nothing to you. The space on a postcard is limited, which means you don’t have to feel pressured to write a huge amount of text to get your point across.

The best messages can be very simple. Tell your friend something about what you’re doing, where you are going, or simply that you are thinking of him or her. You can tell you friend that you miss him or her, are having a great time visiting [x], wish he or she was here, will be coming to visit on [x] or whatever makes sense for the situation. Write a joke or say, “I love you.” As long as you are sharing something positive and uplifting, why not tell your friend what’s on your mind?

Small Gestures Can Make a Huge Impact

No one would accuse you of buying someone’s friendship by sending a simple postcard, but this simple gesture of reaching out in friendship by writing a few words on a card can certainly make an excellent impression on a friend. It’s an easy way to let someone you care for know that they are special to you. Just about everyone likes receiving personal mail, and very few people take the time to send anything in this manner anymore. If you want to make a positive impression on your friend and let him or her know you care, take some time out of your day and send a personal greeting. You’ll be glad you did.

More by this author

How to Write a Press Release Tips on Writing An Outstanding Press Release 20 Ways Not to Go Broke While Still in College What You Never Realized When You Read a Postcard How to Solve 10 Life Problems with Insightful Writing 10 Ideas for Writing a Letter of Love

Trending in Communication

1 10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively 2 How To Be Happy Alone and Enjoy Life 3 What Is Self-Worth and How to Recognize Yours 4 How to Build Self Esteem (A Guide to Realize Your Hidden Power) 5 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

Advertising

2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

Advertising

If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

Advertising

Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

Advertising

10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

Read Next