Words of Praise

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Praise not only pleases people, it gives them new confidence. But if the words of praise are forced or exaggerated, they are reduced to mere flattery. First of all, everybody knows that praise should come from the heart. It is also very important that praise be spoken in such a way that the person hearing it knows that it is sincere.

A good way to do this is to praise a person indirectly. For example, if we tell someone how a third person has praised him, it shows that we agree. This manner of praising carries a double force. Another good way to praise a person is to repeat his words at a latter date. He will be pleased to know his words made such an impression on you. To ask a person for advice shows that we respect that person's judgement. Nothing makes a person happier than a few words of honest praise.

Walking along the street one day. I happened to see a sign near a house which read, "Dump rubbish here." I have seen other signs which say, "Do not dump rubbish here," but I have never before seen a sign which read, "Dump here." It is very easy to make prohibitions. With a little thought and consideration, it is often possible to present a positive solution to a problem, rather than merely forbid what should not be done.

For instance, small signs which point out the location of the nearest parking lot could be added to "No Parking" signs. The map would make the people who see it feel good and would also make it easier for them to observe the law.

Words are like threads which bind people together. In this busy and complicated world of ours, a little kindness and consideration in the use of words can do much to improve our relations with one another, and can greatly help to make the world a better place in which to live.