It Costs Me Nothing…

I am, for the most part, an introverted person by nature. But as I’ve matured, and especially since I became a father, I have tried harder to reach out to people to give them positive feedback when I notice something they have done that is, in my opinion, good and admirable.  (I realize that is subjective (to some), but I am also less concerned with what others think as I get older.)  Maybe I try harder at this now because I have seen the impact that positive feedback makes in shaping our children’s behavior.   Or maybe becoming a father, and being one that praises his children has made me more cognizant of how I feel when someone compliments me on something I’ve done.  Either way, I’ve found myself lately literally going out of my way to compliment people for “doing a good job”.  

Sophie May!

The “other day” our kids were with a group making cards to go along with gifts for the more disadvantage of our community. A few of the kid’s put some really inappropriate stuff on the cards – and one of the adults supervising the activity caught one of the inappropriate cards and addressed the group.  He was very diplomatic, but firm and absolute in condemning the action.  I thought he did a great job, but I didn’t get the opportunity to compliment him on how he handled the situation.  

A few weeks later I saw him at church.  We were in the back on the opposite side of the church, and he was towards the front of the church.  I made my way up there after Mass and asked if he was the same gentleman that addressed the group.  He acknowledged that he was and immediately started to apologize for being too rough on the kids.  I stopped him and told him I wanted to compliment him on how he handled it.  He said he had been thinking about it for weeks and it was bothering him.  I told him to the contrary I was impressed with how he was diplomatic but direct and firm.  He really appreciated my feedback and it was comforting to him to have the reassurance of another parent.

My comments were simple, but sincere, and the effort on my part was absolutely minimal.  But the impact was positive and real in his life .  How could I NOT engage in more of this behavior (and teach this to my kids) when it made me feel good too, put some positive energy into our little corner of the world and – it costs me nothing….

Sincerely,

Chip

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Chip
Blessed father of 4 wonderful children & trophy husband to 1 lovely wife. Part-time blogger, full-time nerd & aspiring Renaissance man!
Articles: 180

All constructive comments are welcome!

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