E-Word Week 2, January 7, 2013
And we are off, in week two of a brand new year. Yay us! This year’s new theme, finding encouraging words to use is something like being a positive person. So it has a two-fold purpose this year. Not only helping us become more positive people by looking for good things in other people, but also, actually letting others know they are being good people too. And to quote one of my fave characters in the movie, “Sahara”, “ It’s like a two for one deal, which I always think is better!”
Just this morning I received an encouraging word, or rather an encouraging email. A Girl Scout leader emailed me asking me to speak to her group about writing and how I develop my characters in my fiction writing. Nothing could have started my day better than being asked to talk about how to write books! I love getting kids excited about writing! So by her simple request, I had an awesome morning, first feeling a qualification for my writing skills and second, getting asked to encourage kids to do something I love doing: writing!
Sometimes that’s all it takes to make someone’s day.
But according to the article on Encouraging Words at www.artofmanliness.com there is a list of reasons why we don’t compliment or give encouraging words to other people more. This is the list:
1. OUR BRAINS ARE DESIGNED TO FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVE
2. YOU ARE SELF ABSORBED: Most of us are more concerned about our own performance or behavior than is someone else messes up or performs poorly.
3. YOU SEE EVERYTHING AS A COMPETITION. Some of us, (including myself, I know, cough…ouch) see everything in life as a competition, or at least something we have to be able to do well. And sometimes it’s hard to tell someone else THEY have done a better job at something than we have, you know , like writing an awesome article. (brain is noodling why can’t I get published like they just did?) See what I mean? So we neglect to give compliments because it is admitting they are better than we are, when in actuality you are the perfect person to give the compliment BECAUSE you write too and know the value of a job well done! I didn’t say it this competition would make sense, just that it happens to the best of us!
4. YOU ARE SHY - no really. It’s like making cold calls in sales. It’s hard to just walk up to someone and say, “Hey nice job.” Or even worse explain why you thought it was a good job.
5. YOU DON’T WANT TO LOOK LIKE A SUCK-UP OR BROWN-NOSER. Enough said.
6. YOU ASSUME THEY ALREADY KNOW they did a good job, wrote a great paper, sang a great song, whatever. And honestly, even if they do already know that, it wouldn’t hurt to remind them. I know I can sing decently, but it never hurts to be reminded because back to that competition thing, you are always thinking you have do better or that everyone is better than you and you have to keep trying harder.
7. And last but not least, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY. IF you avoid giving compliments because you don’t know what to say then keep reading these suggestions in the next several months!
I missed a perfect opportunity today to give a compliment and I blame it on #4. I truly was shy. I didn’t know this person and I felt funny just walking up to her and giving her a compliment. So I have a lot to learn by working on this year of Encouraging Words myself.
So, this week, your mission is to go through your day, and if you encounter someone doing something positive or whatever, practice your encouraging word by saying something to them. Even telling the store bagger to have a great day and thanks for bagging your groceries, is enough to count this week. Hey, it’s baby steps, man! So good luck and way to go for reading all the way through this week’s blog. Maybe you should begin blogging too, you already like to read, why not take it a step further and write down your ideas on encouraging words. You can even type a comment below. It may be the first time but that doesn’t matter! The hardest part is beginning!