Make Me Feel Important

Make Me Feel Important

Everyone wears a sign around their neck that says, “make me feel important,” or MMFI.

I learned about “make me feel important” when I was a Dale Carnegie instructor in the 1970s. I believe MMFI is the key to closer friendships, lasting marriages, and thriving businesses.

What is make me feel important all about?

Did you see the movie “Duets?” If not, you should. It’s a sometimes tragic, often funny and always heartwarming story of eccentric, disparate people who compete in karaoke competitions.   

The movie opens with Todd Woods (played by Paul Giamatti) waking up in a hotel room, rushing downstairs to a small meeting room. He precedes from table to table handing out folders, then walks to the front of the room and begins a presentation.  

Todd quickly notices that the attendees look perplexed. He then discovers that he’s in the wrong meeting at the wrong hotel in the wrong city. We learn that Todd is a beleaguered corporate salesman who spends too much time on the road.

The next scene shows Todd returning home, dragging his suitcase through the front door. He calls out, “Hi, I’m home.” Silence. He proceeds to the family room where his kids are playing a video game. They don’t look up or acknowledge his existence.

What happens when people don’t feel important?

Todd wearily lugs his suitcase up the stairs to the master bedroom where his wife is typing on her computer. She looks up briefly, says hi, then looks back down. Todd begins to tell her about his trip but she scolds him for interrupting.

Dejected and rejected, Todd leaves to buy a pack of cigarettes, and that’s when things get crazy. A karaoke hustler, convict, estranged father/daughter, and some great music make for one of my favorite movies. It’s not only entertaining, it conveys an important message: MMFI.

Todd’s kids didn’t see his MMFI sign. Neither did his wife. It almost resulted in tragedy.

We feel like a million bucks when people see our sign. We feel crappy when they don’t.

I’ve tried to be good at MMFI, but while writing this article I realized I’m not good enough. That will change tonight.

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