Appreciation Therapy

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Did anyone ever say to you, “You are the best!” or something similar? I can bet that the very thought of that memory, even if it had happened years back, would bring sparkle to your eyes and warmth in your heart.

That is the magic of appreciation. Two words, just two are enough. “Hi beautiful” said even by a stranger makes the day. We know it. We have all experienced it. Doesn’t matter what the praise is about but the feeling is same- simply great. We want to believe every word said in our praise. We know we all crave for this feeling of being praised. Why else do we keep checking back for comments ever few minutes when we post anything on the social media?

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We know it. We want it and we use it to encourage people or to impress them in formal settings. And yet we are so stingy when it comes to giving out praises to our friends and family. In fact we find every reason not to do it.

When I was growing up the adult Buzz- word was: “Don’t praise the children or you will spoil them!!”  And boy! Did they follow it to the hilt!! I grew up believing there was nothing good about me. And trust me- that hurts!!

You know it of course. And yet it is so difficult to appreciate those who are really dependent on us for their dose of praise! Interestingly most of us find it rather awkward to say good things to people close to us. Things like ‘I love you’, ‘you are so handsome’,  ‘you are the best child a parent could have’ and more find place only in a very few households. Rest of us believe that such things are not be expressed only experienced especially by the close ones.

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If that is so then why do we express our anger and our disapproval so often and in so many words too? We can even justify some of our physical and mental violence under the pretext of “they deserve it”. What surprises me is that those bad words said with real rage, that hysterical shouting, those emotional neglects…all those really bad things we do so very easily and so frequently but are so very shy even to tell our spouse simple words like, “I love you, you are the best.”

There is magic in appreciation. We expect great relationships, loyal partners and obedient loving children. We get them things that money can buy and spend our days and nights to earn for that, but we do not make efforts to consciously think what wonders a few words can do. Often I meet people who make no efforts to say those few inexpensive words even when their partners tell them so directly and beg them to do so. They brush it away with, “these are all so cheap, superficial things”. Parents reprimand their children for not being confident, bosses chastise employees, but find it so difficult to engage in systematic appreciation routine to raise their self-esteem. And then if your need  appreciation, how are they different from you?

All it needs is a desire to genuinely see your loved ones happy and confident. It is easy, most inexpensive way to relationships of love, harmony and loyalty. Do try it!

Dr. Sapna Sharma

Spiritual Counselor, Life Coach, Author & Speaker

Title image: Pelinkucukk

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