Redefine The Way People Remember You


I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

There exist two meanings for everything — the denotative and the connotative. The denotative is simply the literal definition you’d find if you looked up the word in the dictionary. It is the same for everyone (or at least it should be!).

The connotative, on the other hand, is different for everyone. That’s because the connotative meaning of a word is based on your experiences with whatever it is that the word stands for. So, even though you know that ice cream is a soft, frozen food made from milk, when you hear the word ice cream you think about happiness.

The same is true of people. Sure, people have names, and our interactions with them are made up of the things they say and the things they do. But for the most part, it isn’t those things that first come to mind when we think about someone. Rather, it is the way they’ve made us feel.

Does the person make you happy or sad, angry or excited, shy or loved, what? Those feelings determine how you interact with the person, and they determine how you remember the person.

So keep that in mind when you come into contact with people. Look for the subtle clues that tell you how the things you’re saying and the things you’re doing are making the other person feel. And adjust them accordingly. Be sure you make the other person feel the way you want them to remember you.


Courage Isn’t Something You’re Born With — It’s Learned