The Blog of Jake Kelfer
We all know the feeling when it’s our birthday and we are stoked to wake up in the morning. We look forward to having people wish us Happy Birthday. We long for the feeling of appreciation and hope that this birthday will be a special day.
After all, it’s our birthday… shouldn’t we feel special? I mean, it only happens once a year.
In today’s society, it very rare for friends to remember friends birthdays on a general scale. Sure, you might know your family’s birthdays (I hope you do), but it’s highly unlikely that you know 10+ of your friends or colleagues birthday without using technology to remind you.
There’s nothing wrong with us using technology, but with that said, we tend to rely heavily on Facebook and other forms of social media to inform us of people’s birthdays. I know I’ve seen my fair share of Instagram stories before remembering it was a friend’s birthday.
Remembering someone’s birthday is only part of the equation to making someone feel special on their birthday. Of course, remembering and saying anything is better than completely forgetting, but I also feel that the way we wish people Happy Birthday can drastically impact someone’s special day.
Most of the time, we get a notification in the morning from Facebook letting us know who’s birthday is today. From there, we typically go to their profile and leave a generic message joining the rest of their Facebook friends.
We’ll say, “Happy Birthday Johnny! :)” or some variation where we spend 5-10 second typing out the most generic message possible.
What if instead of doing what the majority of people do - posting on the profile and keeping the message generic - we took an additional 30 seconds to make our birthday wish more meaningful?
How do we do this? It’s simple.
I’d argue that what’s even more important than changing how you wish someone a Happy Birthday, is what you say in your message to them.
Knowing that a birthday is a very special day designed to be solely about your friend/colleague, it’s our duty to make sure we give them a feeling of happiness/joy/appreciation.
Rather than saying, “Happy Birthday!”, we should focus on making people feel special on their special day.
At a basic level, include their name in your Happy Birthday message. According to Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People, “a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language,” and because of this, adding their name can take the message from extremely general to more impactful and personal.
Adding someone’s name is a great first start but I challenge you to go deeper.
Let me ask you the following questions…
Would you rather have someone write Happy Birthday on your Facebook profile or send you a personalized text with an inside joke?
Would you rather have someone send you a DM or call you on the phone and sing happy birthday to you?
I bet it would mean more to you to have someone spend the extra 30 seconds to make your special day just a bit more special. I know that I sure do. I’m grateful for everyone who takes any time to wish me a Happy Birthday, but the birthday wishes I remember most are the people who call me, write a personalized message, or even text me something really nice.
For example, I have a friend named Max and he calls me every year on my birthday. If I don’t answer, he leaves a nice voicemail that I can listen to when I get the chance. After doing this every year since we’ve known each other, his call is something I always look forward to on my birthday.
My mom is also a spectacular example of making me feel special on my birthday. Not only will she send me a text bright and early filled with emojis, but she’ll send me a few texts and let me know how much she loves me and how special I am to her. Knowing that she will always be there for me makes my special day that much more special.
So to recap, saying Happy Birthday can have a massive impact on your relationship with a person. It can change the way they feel about you just by taking a little time to say something meaningful, so the next time you wish someone a Happy Birthday, take 30 seconds and craft a message special to that person. You’ll be happier you did it and they’ll be grateful too.
It’s your birthday! It’s supposed to be an extremely special day. Give that feeling to someone.
Elevate in Action:
I am a motivational speaker on a mission to inspire people to achieve their own definition of success and reach the highest level of personal success and happiness.