Accentuate the Positive

Group of friendsI learned early on that a great icebreaker to meet someone new is to pay them a compliment.  If you can find something you honestly like or admire about a stranger it is a good way to ease into a conversation and if nothing else make someone’s day.  Funny enough giving someone some positive feedback is also a great way to boost relationships you already have.  The idea of positive feedback is often lost on those we already have a relationship with.  We make assumptions that they already know how we feel when it comes to the positives and instead share the things we don’t like or want them to change.  When the amount of positive feedback decreases, it can seem that the amount of negative feedback increases.  Here are some tips to help strengthen relationships you have already forged as a small touch of positivity can go a long way.

Positivity encourages positivity: Every relationship has the challenge to balance the good and the bad.  Don’t forget that the operative word is balance so when you go up on one side it can overwhelm the other side pretty quickly.  I heard myself correcting my daughter three times this morning about picking up after herself or paying more attention to things.  It dawned on me that from her point of view almost everything I said to her this morning was negative, even if I felt I was saying things that needed to be said while they were fresh in my mind.  Sharing things you like about the other person while it is fresh on your mind is just as an important correction and can actually lead to the changes you want to see in someone else.

Don’t always couple the good and the bad: Whenever my mom’s pays me a compliment I hold my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop.   Sometimes we try to sandwich something negative with something positive to lessen the impact but over time it teaches people that the positive statement is only a pillow for the drop kick to follow.  Sometimes you have to be very direct on something negative, but it gives you an opportunity to share something positive and just let it be and allow someone soak in the complement or accomplishment.

Sharing helps remind everyone why the relationship is important. When I was young I thought I could just pile my life full of things and balance it all.  As you get older you realize you only can carry so much and when you add one thing it is likely you are going to drop another.  Relationships you really want to develop are hard to come by so make sure to do the work to keep it up or it can easily drop by the wayside.  Sharing something positive works on both sides to booster another person in why you appreciate them but also to remind you on what is special about the relationship.  Keeping these tips in mind is crucial when it comes time to put in the work to keep the relationship up.

Make the time to be receptive for feedback: Part of sharing a complement is to let someone know what you are thinking.  At its best, however, communication is a two way street.  Whether it is good or bad, sometimes sharing things with someone else in person on when you have time to talk does an extra step in showing that you care not just about your feelings but about how they feel as well.  When you’re open to it you will be surprised at how even a compliment can booster someone’s spirit or directly face some insecurity.

It may seem like a small thing but why not challenge yourself to share something positive you see in the people who are important around you.  You will be surprised at how the smallest things can make the biggest impact

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