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  • Writer's picturealisonkilian

The Joy of Being "Seen"

When someone recommends a creative work with the words "I think you'd like this" and I *DO* I feel so magically seen and understood. Why is that?

It's only happened twice in my life: Someone very close to me very specifically recommends an album and uses that magic phrase: "I think you would like this." One was my eternally cooler sister who gifted me No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" on my 12th birthday with the words "They're cool. I think you'll like this." The other was my best friend, a woman I've known for 20-plus years, who put Lorde's "Pure Heroin" on her car stereo while we were driving and again echoed those magic words: "I think you'll like this."

Both times, it was an absolute understatement. I LOVED "Tragic Kingdom" (still do). I adored "Pure Heroin" (listening to it now). And in both instances, I felt so SEEN, so loved, so understood by the individual who recommended the music to me. Maybe it's because I'm not always communicative with my emotions — so it felt like, even though I didn't tell my sister or my bestie all my innermost secrets, THEY STILL KNEW. They GOT me. That simple recommendation was comforting and lovely.

Conversely, I am often timid to make a recommendation. What if they don't like it? What if they're offended? What if they read into the creative work I recommend too deeply and think I'm sending some surreptitious message? (Have I mentioned I'm an over-thinker). But now? Fuck it. Make the rec! It's one of my new year's resolutions. I don't mean haphazard recommendations to anyone and everyone. I don't mean blaring book recs on social media or blasting tunes for all to hear.

I mean... When you have a moment of reading, listening, or viewing, and you think "This person would like this..." Tell them! Tell them specifically! Tell them right away! You don't have to justify or explain it. Odds are, your instincts are correct. If my experience is anything to go by, a spot-on recommendation can make someone feel seen and loved. And what's more beautiful than that?

Thank you for reading my blog! This is a space where I share personal thoughts — an opportunity for self-expression that has nothing to do with my professional writing. None of the thoughts or opinions expressed in this blog should be construed as anything but my own, nor should they be affiliated with any company or person I contract with or write for.

NOW that that's done... I'd love to hear from you about this blog post in the comments!

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