You can be someone who looks for and complains about what they don’t like — or you can be someone who looks for and encourages the things they do like. One of these things will nearly always leave you feeling better than the other.
You can wish that more people did a certain thing — or you can actively begin showing appreciation to those who already do. And once again, one will nearly always leave you feeling better than the other.
The fact is, how we approach and seek to overcome problems can leave us feeling better or worse. Combating a negative situation with more negativity is rarely effective. But seeking ways to fight negativity in a positive and empowering way often is.
Encouraging the types of things and behaviors we want to see more of not only leaves us feeling more empowered than complaining does, it helps set a positive example for others to follow. This, in turn, helps to create more of the type of people and behaviors we want to see more of and less of the type of people and behaviors we don’t.
Encouragement is extremely powerful in that it not only nurtures the people you give it to, it nurtures the very thing you are encouraging. And this, in turn, brings into the world more of what you would like to see.
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1. It’s ok to show appreciation for things that you feel should be or are relatively common. People love recognition for the good things that they do.
- You can thank someone for returning their grocery cart to the carousel
- You can thank someone for cleaning up their mess in a public place
- You can thank someone for holding the door for someone else
- You can thank someone for any positive action you see them perform
2. Perception isn’t always reality. Just because you think someone appears successful or isn’t the type of person (or company) that could use positive feedback doesn’t mean your assessment is accurate. When everyone assumes their feedback won’t be significant to the people (or companies) they give it to, few people provide feedback. So instead of the perception that someone is being buried with praise, the opposite is true.
The point is, always take the time to show meaningful appreciation for the things that you like regardless of how “liked” you think they are.
Silent appreciation is easily confused with silence.