Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 29th 2014 Contents A31
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Everyone loves receiving a
compliment. It s especially grat-
ifying when you ve done some-
thing different to your appearance
and people notice and praise you.
It s equally pleasing when your
input at work is noticed and laud-
ed; or when your teacher points
out your accomplishment; or
when your spouse shows appre-
ciation for your improving good
There is this absolutely incred-
ible feeling one gets when they are
complimented. Self-doubt and
apprehensions melt away and
endorphins flow freely to give that
feel-good that we all must have
experienced at least once from
"Receiving praise feels fantastic
and is very motivating," says psy-
chologist and author Meredith
But the equally rewarding ben-
efits of praising are found in our
moments of thoughtfulness---that
is, when we are the ones giving
Praising is an action of selfless-
ness, which causes us to focus on
and accentuate the good we see
in others. Yet, while we accept
praising others is beneficial to
them, the true revelation is finding
out that people who praise others
improve their own lives while doing
so.The evidence mounts to support
that giving praises generously to
others improves our health.
Gretchin Rubin says the joy of giv-
ing well-deserved praise is "one
of the most exquisite of pleasures,
and one that s too often over-
"Sometimes, we don t get the
praise we deserve; our hard work
and good deeds aren t rewarded;
our efforts are fruitless. By giving
merited praise, we can at least help
make sure that others labours get
recognised. And that s a big source
of happiness" (www.positively-
Similar to being thankful,
heightened emotional literacy is
involved in this deed. "People who
praise others are usually emotion-
ally intelligent, confident, observant
and like making others feel good
about themselves (www.lifesuc-
It takes a level of confidence and
perspicacity to pay sufficient atten-
tion to the good qualities and
accomplishments of people around
and finding the opportunities to
The Web site www.lifesuccess-
zone.com, says the following about
how giving praise can improve a
person s own life situation.
• Paying attention to others
gives you more opportunities to
give praise. Be genuine as you
praise others on their accomplish-
• You'll feel closer to people as
you cultivate more appreciation
and affection for them. Your praise
will mean a lot to those closest to
you, including your children. As
you get more skilled at praising
the people you know best, you ll
have more confidence in extending
yourself more broadly.
• Nurturing positive emotions
like admiration and gratitude
makes us more open to each other.
Your praise can inspire people to
keep up their good deeds and
motivate others to do the same.
• Commending others can help
them relax and feel less anxious.
It s easier for people to take risks
and grow if they feel supported.
All conflicts are easier to defuse if
people have a genuine affection
for each other.
I m aware of living among peo-
ple who cannot look at another
person and compliment them for
anything. I have also experienced
the ones who re sure to tell you
what s wrong about everything---
you know the type: the ones who
always find the one strand of hair
out of place to tell you that you
missed a spot!
They leave you asking: "If praise
is so beneficial for everyone
involved, why don t we do it more
There are usually a number of
reasons, and lack of self-esteem
can be one of them.
Fuller says: "People lacking in
self-confidence often find it dif-
ficult to give praise because they
feel others don t value their opin-
ions and might reject their offering.
Not everyone has the gift of artic-
ulating their feelings and may hold
back from giving praise because
they re worried they might be
branded a suck-up.
"Competitiveness can also
inhibit people from handing it out.
If someone views you as a threat,
they won t praise you because they
don t want to give you the con-
fidence boost that they d prefer
for themselves," she explains.
Similarly, Fuller says, too, people
who bear grudges also have trouble
My top suggestions about how
to praise others, adapted from feel-
• Be genuine. A truly effective
compliment is a genuine one. Only
praise someone if you think they
actually deserve it. People can tell
when you are being genuine, and
they appreciate it. Conversely, there
are few things more agitating than
to receive a dishonest compliment.
• Don't expect anything in
return. Sometimes we compliment
others because we want to get
something back from them.
Remember, the compliment is for
them. You shouldn t be saying it
because you want to get a com-
pliment in return. Besides, if they
give you a compliment right after
you give one to them, theirs will
probably seem less genuine to you.
"Giving praise where praise is
due makes us feels good because
we re increasing someone else s
sense of self (www.cleo.com.au)."
So give praise, people, and
improve your space.
CAROLINE C RAVELLO
Give praise, children
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