Appreciating Both at the Same Time

“Oh, I love your hat, Amy!” rolls out of my mouth as a friend’s daughter greets me at the door. With a tremble of disappointment in his voice, “You don’t like mine” whispers her little brother. He approaches from around the corner grabbing his blue bucket hat atop his head. “Oh, I love your hat too, buddy. I saw your sister’s first.” He thinks my words to his sister means something about him or his hat. The slight already occurred. 

Thus begins the assigning of meaning to words, at an early age. A belief that words must mean something about us and our value. This leads to communication breakdowns that change the nature of relationships at home, work, and out in the world. 

How often do you let words toward another mean something about you? Maybe a colleague receives a compliment, and you wonder if you are good enough? Or you hear a friend praise another and think you do not measure up? 

Small children who assume that comments mean something about them grow into big children with the same insecurities. The little child in us sometimes takes offense.

This leads to misunderstandings and conflicts throughout school, teams, businesses, organizations, families, neighborhoods, and in communities.  As a mediator, I help people get clear about the results they wish to create. Bridging the gap often requires understanding the meaning of words.  

What if the comments about another have absolutely nothing to do with you? What if it simply means someone notices and appreciates someone in this moment, and no more and no less?  

A compliment is about the receiving person. If you feel lack of appreciation, consider looking yourself in the mirror and saying, “I see and appreciate you.”  

Remember, you may smile and support the compliment or recognition of someone else. You may appreciate two people at the same time.  Sometimes, you may not not say it. The people around you may do the same.

What if you choose to express it more often?

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Most widely known as Lonzo's human, mediator, speaker, and author Sherry Ann Bruckner works with leaders and organizations to create peace, resolve conflict, and transform visions into results.

From her twenty-plus years' experience practicing civil and family law, and her own personal experiences with silence and violence, Sherry Ann understands how much inner peace impacts outer peace. A graduate of Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts and William Mitchell College of Law, she also studied conflict resolution at Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Sherry serves as a neutral on matters ranging from bias and employment discrimination to marriage dissolution and caring for aging parents. A speaker and trainer on the global stage, Sherry gives you and your audience practical skills and the confidence to use embrace your personal power to create peace. Through helping thousands of people navigate their way through conflict, and finding her own way to inner peace, she shares the transformational power of clarity, compassion, curiosity, and cribbage.

Visit to learn more or give her a call at (320) 808-3212.
Sherry Ann Bruckner

Be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.