Years ago, not by choice but by osmosis, I began to incorporate a quality that my best friend is the master of. What is it? Showing and expressing true appreciation to others. Webster’s defines appreciation as : an expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude. Most people think that appreciation only shows acts of gratitude. That is accomplished by a simple “thank you” but doesn’t incorporate the other aspects of the definition.
Showing appreciation can be life changing. Why so? Because by showing appreciation you are changing the lives of others. We Americans live in a largely negative society. I am quite a fan of social networking but I will tell you how much more often I see someone criticize others rather than compliment. There are many people, especially via an avenue where they can escape the face to face confrontation, who seem to thrive on “throwing shade” on others. It seems to be a lot easier to condemn celebrities and athletes than to have an appreciation for the challenges they face in life. Yes, they are wealthy, but how many of us would pass the test if our entire lives are transparent and made visible to others? My guess is very few.
Celebrities and athletes aside, many “everyday people” have very few day-to-day encounters where the other person is showing approval of them as a person much less admiration. People are starved for positive feedback. Because of this truth, when you begin to let others know how much you admire them for various attributes, show thanks for all that they do, and approval in general you will see how receptive and loving they become towards you. You see, once you show appreciation for others it breaks down the defenses and then they begin to show appreciation toward you. It has a snowball effect and can indeed be life changing.
When appreciation becomes a part of your daily demeanor you will notice that things happen for you that don’t happen for others. I really began to take notice of the phenomenon based on a seemingly insignificant event. My friend made a purchase of some items for an international trip he was about to take. Shortly after the purchase, he received word that the items were no longer needed. I was on the phone with him when he went back to the store to return the items and found it closed for the day. He stated he would call me back after trying make a call inside. Well, he called them. They reopened the store, took back his return and sent him on his way. When I thought about it, I realized that events like this appear to happen all of the time in my friend’s life. As I considered why that is so, I realized one simple thing. People do nice things for him all the time because he is such an appreciative person in general. He makes people feel good. Not as a means of manipulation or selfishness, but because he has a genuine admiration for the positive attributes that others possess.
The realization changed my life. I leave it with you today in an attempt to effect a positive change in your life. Look for, acknowledge and appreciate the good qualities in others. Show your approval of the good things that people do, share, are. Let others know you are grateful. You will be amazed at the change that it makes. I’m not promising a magic potion. Some people are just genuinely unhappy and want to make others feel the same way, but I promise even those people will soften when you show them some genuine appreciation.
Let me know how this works for you or if you already discovered this secret. In the meantime, spread love…peace and blessings.