Benjamin Disraeli said:
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”
In the context of dating and relationships, I read this as being willing to share your skills and talents with your date without hiding any part of you. In “Do you hide your ‘light’ from a date?” I shared how I have felt a need not to reveal many of my accomplishments with a date early on. By doing so, I’m hiding my “riches” as I’ve found many men — even accomplished ones — have been intimidated by my achievements. Disraeli is reminding us that part of our greatest good is not to leave part of who you are at the door.
I find the second part of the quote interesting and true, too. Many people are so used to their own talents that they discount them when pointed out. Part of this is society’s frowning on pridefulness and boastfulness. And part of it is that when someone is good at something that comes naturally, or something they mastered a long time ago, they take it for granted. Friends who are concert-level musicians are modest about their skills. Excellent writer or speaker colleagues are humble when receiving accolades.
When you help your date see where he excels, especially if it something that he doesn’t even notice, it reminds him of his special gifts. Once he is able to fully appreciate your sincere acknowledgment, it helps him own it himself. He may stand a bit straighter, have more spring in his step, or a broader smile.
It is easy to point out someone’s shortcomings. But it takes an aware person to first notice someone’s “riches” of character, spirit, or talent. Then it takes a special skill to go beyond noticing and sincerely express your awe without fawning.
Mother Teresa said:
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Anytime you notice a date’s riches (not monetary), tell him what you see. Even if there is not a second date, your kind words will echo for him longer than you can imagine.
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