Appreciating someone is not that difficult, all one needs is to remember to express it when an opportunity arises. But how many of us remember to do so? Most of us only remember the negative things that we even tend to blow out of proportion.
What is Appreciation? According to Voltaire, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up. When you appreciate your loved ones, you build a bond of trust and love. Appreciation builds bridges and fosters healthy relationships.
But again what is Appreciation?!! It is that thing that softens the blow of constructive criticism. It opens the door for critical appraisal, without putting anybody on the back foot. Appreciation allows room for improvement.
Oddly, we’re often more experienced at expressing negative emotions — reactively and defensively, and often without recognizing their corrosive impact on others until much later, if we do at all.
Appreciation is that feeling that makes us feel safe, makes us to do our best at work, in our relationship, with ourselves; it is some kind of energizing power for our value when we feel it is at risk.
Appreciating someone does not make you less important. This is not a war of egos. Your words of appreciation reveal your humble and generous nature. When you do this your value does not depreciate! On the contrary, you look good in the eyes of others.
It should also be known, that openly praising or expressing appreciation to other people is not so easily as it seems, most times it is awkward, contrived, mawkish, even disingenuous and embarrassing on both sides.
American former professional basketball player, Michael Jordan, once said: “When I was playing before I retired, I never really understood the appreciation and the respect that people gave me. People had treated me like a god or something, and that was very embarrassing.”
So where does appreciation start from?
In my own opinion, it should start from home. When your mother makes you lunch or you dad buys you that nice tool you should show appreciation . Thank them, hug them, even a smile expresses your gratitude; it is not like every other kid gets the same treatment. When your husband helps you with household chores, or your mother-in-law offers to babysit when you have to go out, thank her.
Then it shifts to appreciating those around us. These are the people outside our families, people we meet everyday. Give your neighbors credit where it is due, find the many opportunities to express your appreciation.
Please don’t flatter your friends with lame appreciations that you don’t mean. In my opinion you rather not. According to an American educator, Dale Carnegie, “The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.” Sugarcoated words of flattery appear fake while discerning words of appreciation sound genuine.
How do you appreciate someone? It is so easy. Just say ‘thank you’, ‘am happy about what you did’, ‘you make me proud’ these are some of the sincere words you can use when you want to praise others from the heart.
Sam Walton, an American businessman and entrepreneur said, “Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”
John F. Kennedy also described appreciation as something to live by. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Then my best ever is what Albert Schweitzer, a renown theologian said: “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
We’re all more vulnerable and needy than we like to imagine. Authentically appreciating others will make you feel better about yourself, and it will also increase the likelihood they’ll invest more in themselves.