Why is it that accepting praise is so often difficult? What is it about our society and culture that makes it a challenge for us to simply say “thank you” when another offers us some positive feedback?
Watch a young child. Give that child some praise and watch that child beam with pleasure for being recognized. This is a healthy state. This is as life should be. Wait a few years, maybe a decade, and there is a strong possibility that the very same young person that beamed with pride at being recognized for a job well done may now seek to side step similar reinforcement.
Now conduct your own research. In the course of your day, choose 5 people and find something to praise them for. It does not have to be a monumental achievement to have effect, but it should be sincere. I have done this and typically 3 out of 5 people have a hard time accepting genuine praise.
It is understandable but regretable. We are a society obsessed with perfection. It is unobtainable, unrealistic, and not a healthy pursuit. And yet we still seek perfection. When I am gone, no one will remember the great perfection that I or you have achieved. What we will be remembered for is the way that we walked through our life, head held high, compassionate to those we interacted with, humble, generous, accepting of the feedback offered by others – both praise and that meant to help us in constructive ways. The humble acceptance of praise enriches not only you, it enriches the person who stopped to notice and comment on your praiseworthy accomplishment.
Give it a try. The next time someone acknowledges your success or effort. Look that person in the eye and say “thank you.” In short order not only will you be feeling better, you will have worked some magic. Your simple and humble acceptance of genuine praise creates a conduit for more positive energy in our world. this happens because your acceptance and acknowledgement creates positive reinforcement for the person who offers the praise. And just like that, the positive energy is doubled.
What could you do if… you could accept praise?