The other night while tucking Zach into bed, I said these words to him…”Buddy, I am so proud of you!” And he responded with, “Why?” I returned with, “What?” And he asked, “Why are you proud of me?” I realized then that I had been forgetting to do something that I had been taught many years ago in Mary Kay…When you praise someone, tell him/her WHY you are praising him/her. Our kids have been conditioned all these years that when I say, “I am so proud of you!” or “You are the best!” or “You are wonderful!” that I explain why. It makes a much greater impact on their little hearts, and it’s something they’ll remember for a very long time!
I overheard someone just this week say to their spouse, “You’re so great.” And I wanted to step in and ask, “Why? Why is he so great? Tell him why!” Anyone can say, “You’re so great.” And sometimes when those words are spoken again and again, they begin to lose their punch and they really don’t mean much after awhile. But when you add the reasons WHY this person is so great, it means EVERYTHING!
So, answering Zach I added something like, “Well, I am so proud of you because you have a kind heart and you care about other people’s feelings. You treat others the way you want to be treated. You mind your parents. You are responsible and are trustworthy, and I appreciate those things about you! I am so proud of you Buddy!” A huge smile appeared on his face!
If you think someone is wonderful, tell them so and add WHY you think they are wonderful. “You are so wonderful. I appreciate how you listen to me, how you are there for me and how you care about how I feel. You make me feel wonderful when I’m with you. I don’t know what I would do without you in my life!” That will be much more meaningful than just saying, “You are so wonderful!”
I encourage you to try this out on a few people this week (but change the wording to match the relationship and situation, of course)! Your boss, your employees, your spouse, your children, your friends, your parents, your neighbors, etc. You’ll soon be hooked…not only will it make the people around you feel wonderful, you’ll feel great about building people up too! 🙂
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