Everybody likes to receive praise.
When you do a thing, and you do it well, receiving praise for it feels amazing. It is incredibly empowering, and it serves as an affirmation of the choices you make along the way.
For whatever reason, though, our modern society eschews praise. We have an almost surreal talent for criticism, but when it comes to praise, we seem to display something of an aversion to it.
I suspect that one of the reasons for this is because there is a backlash borne of false praise. When we over-emphasize the celebration of mediocrity, and heap praise for simple participation, we disempower in the interest of inclusion. We praise all, or we praise none.
Yet we are almost obsessed with criticism. Now don’t get me wrong, there are situations where this is completely called for, like politics. An example of where this is over-the-top is when it comes to celebrities. There is an entire industry of media focused on what they wear, their level of fitness, whom they are dating, and so on. Snarking at celebrities is accepted as the price they pay for being public figures.
Unfortunately, this carries over to everyone else. People tend to criticize and comment on the people in their lives with far more negativity than positivity. What we forget is that, while we don’t actually do these things maliciously, they impact the people around us and lower all of our frequencies.
Consciousness creates reality. When you are focused on the flaws and negatives of the people around you, that is what you draw more of to you. It does bounce back. Heap criticism and comments at people, and they will be returned to you. This, in turn, makes nobody feel terribly empowered.
Praise raises our frequencies.
Everything in the universe is based in energy. All energy has a frequency. Low frequencies are made of low feelings, low energy. High frequencies are made of high feelings and high energy. The low makes us feel bad, the high makes us feel good.
This is why praise matters. A lot of work environments people experience involve trying to avoid criticism and disapproval, thus cultivating low vibrations and frequencies. Avoiding getting judged by our bosses and coworkers is not empowering, and doesn’t feel good.
When we work in an environment where praise is given for jobs well done, achievements that are made, and good performance, we are empowered. This type of environment cultivates high vibration and frequencies. Working for reward is empowering, and feels good.
I can’t think of anyone who does not prefer to be rewarded over being penalized. Being given an accolade feels good and empowers us to continue to perform at high energy. When we receive penalties and judgements if we do not meet a given standard, we are disempowered, and likely to continue to find little or no satisfaction in what we do.
Is it easier to criticize than to praise? No. However, I think because a lot of energy was given to praising for simply participation and averageness, praise comes less easily.
Again, it’s important to look at our society. Everywhere you look people are being criticized and judged for anything you can imagine. While some is justifiable, like in the case of our government, much of it is not. While the majority is not intended to be mean, it still lowers the vibrational frequencies of our energy. Thus, we are great at making ourselves and others feel bad.
Like pretty much everything in the world, starting small can snowball.
Be aware of whether you are offering praise or judgement.
It starts with us. How often do you wind up talking about someone you care about or love critically? Does it come rather easily? Is your criticism more observational than malicious? How does it make you feel?
I love my friends and family, but I am frequently being critical of things they do. It doesn’t come from a place of spite or intentional meanness. I think it’s a matter of comparison to my own thought processes on a given situation.
The challenge is to be aware. Oh, look, something else that comes down to awareness of the here-and-now. When I am thinking about the people in my life, when I am critical of their actions, I am lowering all of our frequencies. Ergo, it is up to me to consider this, and change my reactions consciously.
One of the best ways to do this is to find reasons and means to praise. If I can offer praise I am raising all of our frequencies. Praise makes everyone feel good, and when we feel good, we choose more wisely, and I believe consciously, our thoughts, feelings and actions.
Recognize false praise and constructive criticism.
Two words of caution here. First – false praise. Praising for mediocrity can be as disempowering as criticism. Wow, you got out of bed this morning – good for you! is rather mocking. This is where we lose the power praise can generate. Praise can still be for simple things, such as you look good today or I like that shirt on you or you are raising incredible kids.
Second – constructive criticism. This is a real thing, and can actually be empowering. Criticism feels bad. That pie you baked wasn’t very good makes you feel lousy. Thank you for baking that pie. Could I offer some flavoring suggestions? might still be awkward, but opens the door to dialogue rather than judgement. There are times people need help to improve in some way or other.
Praise can be incredibly empowering. When you are walking a path you have chosen for yourself, praise goes a long ways to make the journey better. Consider how criticism and praise make you feel, be aware of how you are thinking and speaking about people around you. Raise everyone’s frequency by offering praise.
Like I said in Positivity this week – You are amazing. No matter if we know one another or not, I want you to know that I believe you are amazing, and can do incredible things.
What praise have you offered of late?
This is the three-hundred-fifteenth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas for, and my personal experiences with, walking along the path of life. I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.
Thank you for joining me. Feel free to re-blog and share.
The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.