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(12) Pearls of Life

The Importance of Staying Positive! - Law Of Attraction

PL12

Praise but Don’t Flatter

People like to be praised, whether it’s for a sparkling piece of work or a stylish choice of clothing, a generous gesture or a clever idea. So give them what they want-they’ll appreciate you for it.

Praise sometimes get a bad reputation for some reason. Some people misguidedly believe that too much of it is a bad thing, or that it will just sound insincere. If you’re worried about this, just remember these guidelines:

● Keep it in proportion. Don’t gush all over someone just because his report was neatly laid out. Give him modest recognition, and save the real effusiveness for the really exceptional achievements.

● Don’t worry about sounding insincere. The rule is very simple: If it is sincere, it will sound sincere. If you’re making it up, it will come across as empty flattery. The thing that needs to change is that you need to voice what you’re already thinking more often, not make up things to praise people for.

● Bear in mind that the praise you give says a lot about your values. If you praise people for only being clever, they’ll come to assume that that’s what matters to you. If you praise people for hard work as well as actual achievement, they’ll realize that you care about effort as well as results. Praise people for being generous or hard working or considerate or brave or quick and those are the things you’ll be telling them you care about.

 Be Loyal

You know your partner can be a bit pushy sometimes. But you don’t go around telling that to everyone. Maybe you moan a bit to your best friend or your father or your brother, but to the outside world you stick up for them, and keep any criticisms to yourself.

Same goes for your best friend. You may be allowed to tell them that they’re irresponsible, but you won’t admit you think that in front of anyone else. And your boss. No eye for detail? That may be your opinion but you wouldn’t share it with the rest of the department.

Am I right? And if not, why not? Look, the point about loyalty is that it isn’t about the person you’re loyal to—it’s about you. Loyalty is an attribute you either have or you don’t. You don’t turn it on or off according to the merits of the partner or friend or boss in question. That wouldn’t be loyalty—that would be expressing an opinion. Loyalty is about you giving your support to someone regardless of your personal view. Whether you agree with them.

Whether it’s easy to stand with them. Whether you think it will benefit you. Funny thing is though, it will benefit you. People will recognize loyalty when they see it, and approve no matter what they think about your partner, friend, or boss. And they’ll realize that if they can get you on their side, they too can rely on your loyalty precisely because you don’t switch it on and off as the wind blows. You’re an inherently loyal person no matter what.

 Don’t Talk Behind People’s Backs

I can remember a colleague I used to have who was fairly popular, being funny and entertaining and very good company. There was a group of about half a dozen of us who worked closely together at one time, and got on very well. One lunchtime he and I went out for a bite to eat together, and he started being quite catty about one of the girls in our group of friends. I really didn’t like this at all, and it also set me wondering what he was saying about me behind my back.

You see, it wasn’t only the poor girl in question who, if she knew what was going on (and she found out eventually), had reason to feel aggrieved. I wasn’t at all sure I wanted to be his friend either. Back then I’d learned less than I have since, and I carried on hanging out with John for the entertainment value.

But I made damn sure I didn’t tell him anything private, and I never trusted him after that. No matter how justified your views about people may be, talking behind their backs will always put you in a bad light, and make you appear disloyal. If it isn’t necessary to say anything, then it’s necessary to say nothing. I’m not saying you can’t pass on important information, for the right reasons, to someone who actually needs to know. And of course you and your partner or very best friends are allowed to discuss what you think of people honestly. That’s not the same thing at all, as you know. We all know when we’re bitching, even when we pretend to ourselves that there’s a valid reason for it. But it actually makes us look a lot worse than our intended target.

 Learn to Take Criticism Well

I’ve noticed that the people who can handle criticism best are the most confident ones. They’re so sure of their own worth that being told about a minor flaw doesn’t cause them immediately to question their whole value and abilities. Tell people who are under-confident that they don’t always listen very well, and they’ll think you’re telling them that you don’t like them, they’re a useless friend, and they should be embarrassed and ashamed every time they deal with anyone. Tell people who are self-confident that they don’t always listen well, and they’ll think, “Ah, I don’t always listen. I should do something about that.”

Of course the people who look confident on the surface aren’t necessarily the ones who feel confident underneath. And if you don’t feel confident enough to take criticism well, you’ll need to fake it. This isn’t as bad as it sounds because after a bit of practice you’ll find that, actually, a bit of constructive criticism isn’t the end of the world. In fact it’s rather helpful. And people will respect you for being able to take it on board.

You’ve seen people being criticized. Which ones impress you-the ones who get defensive or sulky?

Or the ones who say, “Thanks for the feedback. I’ll think about that?” Of course not all feedback is accurate, but if you’re known to handle it without getting prickly, you can ask others for a second opinion, and they’ll be happy to give you an honest response.

And look, this is good news. Would you rather everyone knew you had a weak spot but were too nervous of your reaction to say anything to you, or would you prefer to know so that you could sort it out?

 

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