Today’s Lady Tip is going to sound weird if you’re not used to doing it, but it’s really not that strange. If I, one of the most socially awkward people you’ll never meet, can do this, then I promise you can do it too. Today’s Lady Tip is all about reaching out to other people.
The next time you read an article that makes you nod in agreement or laugh out loud, or the next time you read a book that becomes a part of you, or the next time you hear of someone doing something you admire, why don’t you let that person know?
Send an e-mail, a tweet, whatever, and let the person know you appreciate what she’s doing. Tell her that she made you laugh or cry or think. Tell her that what she’s doing inspires you.
I started doing this awhile ago, and the results have been surprising and great. I’m an incredibly awkward, shy, socially-challenged lady in person, but even I can send out an email. So I do. Nothing long or fawning…just a quick note, an “I love what you do!” Sometimes, if a person has a career I want to emulate, I even ask her for advice.
And you know what? People almost always write back.
To be fair, the writers I’m emailing aren’t Joyce Carol Oates or Joan Didion. I don’t think they have the time or the inclination to answer their fan emails. The writers I email are normal people with normal lives. But sometimes, if you’re like me anyway, it’s easy to assume that everyone else you see working on the internet is some untouchable person who has it all figured out. Really, they’re just people. And the advice (and book recommendations) I’ve received from sending out emails is invaluable to me.
There’s another, less-selfish reason to send out emails like this: they make people feel good. As someone who writes on the internet, I can tell you that it makes my day/week/month to get an email from someone who likes my blog or HelloGiggles column or anything else I’ve written. I could make a joke here about how I’m just an egotistical maniac who loves attention, and I guess that’s probably true, but the bigger truth is that when I write something, I want it to reach someone else. I want someone else to enjoy it and laugh or feel better or maybe just pick up the book I recommended. Connecting with other people, communicating with them, helping them–that’s why I write. And I’m not alone. That’s why a lot of people write. And just hearing from someone who says you’ve reached them can make all the difference when you feel like you’re slogging along and not making any difference at all. Many people I write to say something like “You made my day!” I understand that, because I know the feeling.
Reach out to somebody today, you guys! I promise that person is not going to write back and say, “I hate you. Shut up.” But I mean, if they do, then what sort of person are you writing to, really? That one’s kind of on you.
Image via Rebelle Society