The Fan Cam

Do you want to know one thing that you can do, starting today, to change the way other’s feel about you?  Treat everyone you see like they are a human Fan Cam.  To clarify, I am not suggesting you take your shirt off, sport a Mohawk, and paint your face blue.  I’m just suggesting you respond to people, particularly your loved ones, with the same enthusiasm you would give a Fan Cam.

I was thinking about this recently while attending a Pacer game with my son.  During time outs, half-time, and other breaks in the action, it is common for a camera person to sneak a shot at random fans.  Sometimes the unsuspecting fans are sitting quietly, seemingly about to fall asleep, and other times they are dancin’ fools, screaming for attention.  Regardless of their disposition, once it is clear that the Fan Cam is on them, there are two things everyone does (even the most shy), and that is:  they express a sincere surprise that they are the center of the stadium’s attention (who? Me!?), and then they SMILE – real big.

Their faces light up.  They have been seen!  And not just by one person, though that’s all it really takes to feel seen, but by 18,000 spectators.  They are live, center court, up in the sky, for everyone to enjoy.  Sometimes there will be a kiss between lovers, a dance amongst kids, a rousing cheer or chant from buddies, but always there is a feel-good reaction.  Who doesn’t love that?

I think we start out in life knowing about the Fan Cam effect, and over time, we lose sight of its power.  When my boys were younger, one of my favorite things ever was the sound of their feet slapping against the floor and their sweet voices yelling, “mommy’s home,” as they raced each other to the door to greet me.  Similar are the lovers in the airport who run to each other after a long awaited reunion, or the long, tender embrace grandma gives her son, and his kids after months of not seeing them.  These greetings fill us up with love and hope and happiness for the world we live in, and for love itself.  That’s why we stop and stare when people engage one another this way.  Ummm, or am I the only one that does that?

 Few things in life feel better than a genuinely enthusiastic greeting from someone you love. To be met with a smile as wide as Texas, arms stretched out, ready to circle you tightly, and wrapping you up in the feel of “I love you” without uttering a word.  Now that is like magic.  Sometimes we are lifted just to witness an event like this. The very sight of someone else experiencing this joyful expression of, “I am so excited to see you,” can instantly elevate our mood.

We all want to be seen.  We want to know that who we are matters.  When we marry, our hope is that we can morph ourselves into a human fan cam, so we can elicit this joyful reaction from, and have this effect on, our spouse.  By simply turning our attention to the one we love, we hope to provoke that same magical smile, a kiss, a dance, or even a cheer.  We long to feel important, relevant, special, and seen.

When was the last time you responded to your partner the way you would to a fan cam?  Or, how about the last time you greeted him like he just returned from war?  Or the last time your face lit up with joy when you walked through the door of your home, just because you were so happy to see her?

This is possibly one of the most simple, yet powerful changes you can make in your relationship, starting today.  Every time you greet your loved one, respond to her as if it is a very big deal that you are in her presence.  Let your greeting say it all, “I have loved you all day long, and I am so happy and so grateful to see you now.”