Sincere Appreciation

“I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself. Hurting a man and his dignity is a crime.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“One of the most neglected virtues of our daily existence is appreciation.” -Dale Carnegie

I have noticed of late, that many people are dealing with low-confidence and low self-esteem. (And to think, my whole life I thought I was unique in this!) Turns out the majority of us are battling a feeling of inferiority; Feeling ‘less than’ and self-conscious.

The thought amazes me, because I look around and see a world full of vibrant people with talents and beauty inside and out. Yet I find it every day, the more people I meet – the more I see it time and time again. They are insecure. Now most people cover it up very well. What with their nice clothes, their big talk, their high position or their expensive cars and toys. But inside – they are questioning themselves just like me. Inside they are feeling like they are less of a person than those around them. Sometimes people even cover up their own insecurities by demeaning others, when I was a kid we used to call these people bullies, but now as an adult it seems to be the norm. Isn’t that what we are doing when we gossip? We are talking about other peoples’ faults to make ourselves feel better and so that we don’t have to focus on our own?

Compliments are like gold. They are like water to the thirsty or food to the hungry. People are starving to be appreciated, loved or even just noticed. Sincere appreciation is a rarity in our world today. Too often we only hear what is wrong with us, the mistakes we made or things we should have done better. People are quick to criticize and slow to appreciate.

I’ve noticed the effect is has on people, I have seen firsthand, a compliment turning someone’s attitude around. They turn in to a totally different person. It’s really amazing.

I have had people come to me grumpy and with a bad attitude and a simple (genuine) compliment has turned it around to where they are smiling and seem much happier.

Now keep in mind – flattery and compliments are not the same thing.

When I say compliments here, what I am referring to is sincere appreciation of some attribute of the other person.

Dale Carnegie says “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.” (Carnegie, 1936)

In this chapter Carnegie talks about adopting a new way of life. That is to be hearty in our approbation and lavish in our praise.

Since this word ‘approbation’ is not one I hear regularly, I looked it up. Some synonyms are: approval, acceptance, appreciation, respect and admiration.

I have begun to be intentional in my daily encounters with other people. I have made it a bit of a mission of mine to be a “good-finder”. I challenge myself every day to find at least three people to sincerely compliment. It has been interesting to see the other person change right in front of my eyes. It is a good feeling to know that I may have helped improve their day. Strangely enough I begin to feel better about myself too, the more I see that I am helping others. I believe that we as humans, are built for service – but that’s another topic for another day.

We all know that when we feel good about ourselves; we are happier, easier to get along with and do a much better job.

Can you imagine a world where everyone was quick to appreciate and slow to condemn?

Could this change start with you?

When is the last time you sincerely appreciated someone, and told them?

Will you sincerely compliment three people today?

Could this in fact change your life and the lives of those around you?


I appreciate you.  – Jorjia

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