5 Ways To Be Remembered Fondly

By Robert Kennedy III

Being “remembered fondly” is a phrase that gives people pause.  You want people to remember you fondly but then you realize that if they are remembering you, then you might not be around anymore.  Most of us are a little unnerved by the whole death thing, right?  But, it happens to all of us at some point.  Maybe you’ll expect it and maybe not.  In either case, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it.

What you CAN do something about is the way you live.  Brendon Burchard likes to say that when people are gone, only 3 questions are important – Did I live, did I love, did I matter?

The good news is that you can control all three of those by being intentional…starting now.

Recently, I recorded a podcast episode where I mentioned the energy that people have when they leave any interaction with you.  Do they leave energized or do they leave drained?  If they constantly leave you “drained”, then that is how they will remember you.

Here are 5 things you can do to leave people energized and also be “remembered fondly.”

1. Smile even when you don’t want to

Smiling is not a feeling.  It’s a choice.  I just read a story of a little boy who played a game called “Bouncing Smiles”.  Whenever he was in a mall, he would try to “bounce” 20 smiles.  In order to play, he would simply smile at everyone that he could and those who smiled back gave him a point.  If they didn’t smile back, he would deduct a point.  Most people CHOSE to bounce the smile back to him.

2. Be excited to see them

Recently, I was on a trip back from Florida and stopped in to see a friend and her husband.  I hadn’t seen them in almost 20 years.  So, the joy in the room was off the charts.  But, what if I greeted people like that all the time…as if I was just so glad to see them and missed them?  How would they “remember” me?

You can CHOOSE to be excited about people, connecting with them and greeting them.  That excitement energy passes through and starts any conversation and interaction from a heightened energy step.

3. Ask a question and then be interested in the answer.

I’ve been guilty.  Yep.  I’ve asked questions in conversation and then literally moved my brain and attention halfway across the room to another interaction.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that I was aware that it took place and could work towards being better about it.  Despite the advice that countless thinkers give (myself included), none of us gets it right all the time.  But, we can CHOOSE to be aware of our behavior and then work towards doing something about it.  Ask a question, then clear  your mind and let their words float in.  Imagine that your ears become these great catchers that gobble up every word they are saying.  (Resist the urge to giggle because you have just imagined yourself looking like Dumbo).  Simply hear each word.  Smile. Then follow up with something that shows you were paying attention intently.  Ask them how they felt about what they just shared with you.  (Unless your initial question was, “How are you feeling”)

4. Approach them first

Some people wait for others to approach them before they say hello.  You may not be able to approach everyone first simply because you need to take time in conversation.  But, practice approaching first with enthusiasm instead of waiting for them to come to you.  Again, this indicates that you were interested in THEM.  Yes, I am aware that sales people use this approach as well and it can appear that you are approaching them with the intention of selling.  However, this is one step in a group that you should take in order to craft an effective conversation.

5. Find out how you can help them

What can you do help them reach their goals?  Since you have asked them about what is happening in their world, you should have some idea about what is important to them currently.  What can you do to help them in this area?  Can you introduce them to someone?  Can you recommend a resource?  Can you offer a word of comfort?  Can you send them an article that might be helpful?  Can you watch their kids for a few minutes while they run to the grab something from the counter?  Can you offer one experience that might help them navigate a problem they are having?  Lead with a spirit of service.

Being remembered fondly is not only about after you die.  You can be remembered fondly the moment after you leave their presence.  When your name comes up in conversation or when you happen to cross their minds, how do they think about you?  You get to control the narrative and create the legacy you want.  And that is no accident!