Thursday, August 5, 2010

Im Proud of You

Isn’t it ironic how in the heat of battle we can throw around insults and curse words with reckless abandon, yet for the most part we hold compliments close to the vest. The insults and curse words are a facet of how we learned to do battle (defend ourselves) growing up. We learned at an early age that if you want to be heard in an argument, you need to speak louder (scream) to take control of the conversation. We were taught that curse words can be used to emphasize your emotional state (although I think they have lost their power, due to over using them). Lastly, we were taught that if we felt we were losing, we could do anything in our power to win, including insulting the other person. Since most everyone is using the same format, what starts out as a discussion, can lead to an argument and eventually end up in a fight. Many times, the things that were said had no relevance to what was originally being discussed. So if this is all a result of learned behavior, why don’t we just as enthusiastically learn to compliment, when things are good? Why is it so easy to curse but so difficult to compliment? Why is it so easy to tell others what they do wrong and what they should be doing differently yet so difficult to tell them what you like about them and what they do that you like. Is it that we are afraid it will make us sound stupid? Do we sound smarter when we curse and insult? Is it that we are afraid that we will sound soft or weak? Cursing may make us “sound” strong but does it “make” us strong? Which of the two comes from a stronger person? Maybe we are afraid that if we say nice things others will take advantage of us? Isn’t it true that we have direct control of who we “allow” to take advantage of us?

I recently had someone tell me they were proud of me. It caught me off guard because it was something that is typically not said. I spent a lot of that day thinking about what I could have done to evoke such a comment. It wasn’t a family member, whom one would usually associate with those words but instead it was a friend and someone I had spent little time with over the years. Those four words empowered me. As many of you know, my father died when I was 13 and in the last 30 years, I have seldom heard those words. With those four words, that person made a difference in my life and as a result, a difference in the lives of everyone I will encounter. Realize the power that you carry in your words and use them.


Mary L said...

I'm proud of you, too!!! :)
Great post. I know that for me, times that I have sincerely tried to give someone close a compliment, they think I'm being sarcastic! They discount my compliment! So I think there can also be a lesson here for when you are receiving a compliment, to do so graciously by saying a simple, "Thanks. That means a lot to me."

Kiki said...

I'm so proud of you too Alex...not being sarcastic here, I swear, I'm amazed at your ability to be creative daily and your willingness to impart wisdom to us schmucks (especially those of us that are TGIFing and not enjoying today:)...Thanks again for the come-back!

Alex said...

Thanks to the both of you for your support. Most of the readers dont comment on the post and for me , its the comments that motivate me and let me know that people are reading and interested in what i write.