There is no better feeling in the world than when someone shows an interest in you. It could be your writing, your art or just your personality, but whatever it is will surely shine brighter when the light of another person’s acceptance gets shined on it. I feel this all the time when someone new subscribes to my blog.
It doesn’t matter to me that there are a lot of subscribers now because each new one renews those warm and happy feelings I got the first time someone liked what I wrote so much that they decided they would like to be notified each time I wrote something else.
I used to ask my friends to follow my blog. I’d send them links. I’d post notices on Facebook and give extremely detailed instructions on how to subscribe. I think once I even wrote a blog post about how to subscribe. I even signed a couple of my friends up by subscribing for them. All they had to do was follow the link back to confirm, and they never did.
In essence, I was asking people that knew me and people that might stumble upon me to please be interested in me. I have to tell you that this never increased my followers. Not even by one more. I long ago stopped doing that as much. Now when I ask someone to check out my blog, it’s because they are talking about something I wrote about, or because I respect their input and want their opinion on what I’ve written.
I know folks that do nothing but sit around all day and tell people how great they are. I’m not kidding! I don’t know how they are able to do this with a straight face, but they do! I don’t think I will ever be that arrogant and self centered. They aren’t humbly asking you to look at their art and possibly like it. It’s not even about the art or the craft, it’s about them and the over-inflated view they have of themselves. They want people to be interested in worshiping them, bowing down to them, acquiescing to their superiority. It could be their education, or their years of experience they brag about. They like to put their craft in your face and loudly proclaim “I made this! Isn’t it the greatest thing you’ve ever seen?! No one is as good at this as I am!”
These kinds of folks have absolutely no interest at all in what you do, or if you can do what they do too. They will never ask about what you do and if anyone asked them about what you do, they probably couldn’t tell them. I worked with a woman like that. We started a partnership to sell her art, but I still kept my full time professional life. Someone asked her once what I did for a living and she had no idea. She never asked me and she never showed even the slightest bit of interest in my regular job. She never made the effort, but instead chose to find it funny that she had no clue about it. I was a minion. Suffice it to say, I now have no interest in selling or even talking about her art.
Speaking of my professional life…I recently got a little incensed that one of my friends asked me to get her a job doing what I do because it seemed easy and could tide her over until she could find a real job. Really? When I asked her what it is that she thinks I do, she had no clue, but she was sure she could do it because she has a Masters Degree. Um…okay. Let’s stop for a moment to realize how much you just devalued my profession, and then we’ll talk about the fact that there is no way I’d ever help you get a job working with people I admire and respect.
People that devalue what you hold dear, are not people you need to value.
If you find yourself in a relationship/friendship that always seemed to be one sided or slanted in their direction, then you might want to look for a new friend. Find people that are just as interested in you, as you are in them and you’ll see your quality of life improve exponentially.
It wasn’t until I started showing an interest in reading about what other people were writing, that my following started to slowly increase. In fact, reading other blogs actually helped me to improve my own writing. It helped broaden my choice of topics to write about and it opened my mind to possibilities that didn’t exist before. I owe this epiphany to the thousands of people that get online everyday and write in their blogs. I hope they never stop writing!
One of my friends that’s a professional musician told me that this is something she has done for years. She makes it a practice to go out and listen to new bands. It gives her inspiration to continue creating music that is uniquely her own and it supports the musical community so it will continue to grow and prosper. She told me that to create and ask people to come and listen was great, but to also listen to what’s being created around you is better. It promotes your own growth. I had always heard this was true, but I had never practiced it myself. I practice it now.
Show genuine interest in the folks around you and they might surprise you by showing an interest in you. Before you know it, you won’t have to ask for attention anymore because you’ll be secure enough in yourself. Have faith that there are people out there that are just as curious and interested in connecting with you, as you are in being connected to them.