The Power of an Encouraging Word
No tree does really well standing alone.
What power in words!
Encouraging words are an essential for happiness. Let us face it that we live in a world with others and they mean a whole lot to us. We simply do not encourage enough. Think of the good feelings and motivation when you get an encouraging word. Doesn't it just pick you up and make the whole world look better? So why shouldn't we give an encouraging word to others.
Think of the inverse - the negative word, yuk and yukkier! We are not talking about the helpful criticism given when needed and in a helpful manner but comments that hurt and are made to halt us in our progress and not encourage. "That will never work" or quite simply "you are an idiot". Those kind of comments hurt us and rock our core belief in ourselves.
I believe that everyone has a condemner inside of us. We condemn ourselves regularly with thoughts of "I will never be good enough" or "I am just lousy at this". Or even to the radical extent of "I am going to hell for just being me". All of these very negative thoughts can be washed away with an encouraging word. We can be uplifted. And the encouraging word does not even have to be a compliment. In fact sometimes it can just be forgiveness or to remind us to have faith or a silent hand up.
Please go an raise someone up today, PLEASE!
How about you.
Have you ever been raised up by another?
Words that heal.
To often when people are suffering from a loss or circumstances we are without words. Some words are just irritating. "time heals all wounds", "it will get better" and "I understand". These words intended to help do two bad things, they are platitudes and they take away from the persons right to suffer for themselves -- ownership.
Try these and mean it: "if you need anything, let me know", "I will be here for you when you feel like it", "you mean the world to me, I hate to see you in so much pain". These are words of encouragement because they let the person know that you think that they are a friend and that they are worth your time and they mean something to you. So sometimes something about you is what is needed to be encouraging. I like these ones: "you are my hero" "I could not do it without you", "I really like/love you". So often we say not to make it about you, but as you can see sometimes that is the right way to go.
Smiles and hugs are great encouragers. So are handshakes and pats on the back when intimacy is not called for by circumstances. When someone looks right at me and smiles to where there crows feet wrinkle all up it is one of the best feelings in the world.
My wife holds way back on encouragement. She is down right stingy with it and is generally critical. Boyo boyo when she gives a look of appreciation it is like fireworks going off all for me. So she teaches us not to make light of a compliment or encouragement and only give it when it is truly sincere. For me it is clapping. No way will I clap for someone because I am supposed to, so If I clap for you -- you should be encouraged.
So many we have failed to encourage.
Passers-by and intimates.
Strangers. What a strange word! Strangers are only people we have yet to encourage. Encouragement creates an intimacy. Try it you might like it. "Hey that is a nice shirt", "you are looking good today". Shoot you can even use the old standby "have a nice day". Simply by acknowledging someone you brighten their day and become known to them. I saw a cute one once where the fellow was really supposed to pick up the child from school (not a creepy circumstance at all) and the man says "hi my name is Joe and your name is what"? The kid said his name and then the man said he was to pick him up. The child said that he could not go with strangers and the man asked him what the mans name was and the boy said "Joe of course". The man said "see we are not strangers you even knew my name" and off they went happily ever after.
You see it only takes a few words of encouragement and even the homeless guy on the corner is no longer a stranger.
Now take it with someone we know very closely. Some people are lonely in a room filled with people. I think we all have felt that way. Hell a depressive can feel all alone in a home filled with loved ones. word of encouragement can change all that and bring the person into our world and welcome them. Maybe just a simple "hey let me give you a hand" is all that is needed. Certainly a "come meet some of my other friends" would lift just about anyone up.
What about our work and other acquaintances?
Why not build people up. Yes it is a dog eat dog world out there and we must always compete, But that does not mean that we need to compete by bringing others down. We can still build them up and create a synergy effect. Have you ever noticed that it is hard to take a compliment without complimenting back. At least that is the case for normal people. (not so much the narcissist or psychotic, hey it just hit me that could be a reasonable test like yawning,, oops I digress ;-) Everyone does better with some encouragement and I would rather work with someone who is doing their best than a slacker any day.
Sports are really a great place for encouragement. I just love to watch competitors in football help an opponent up from the ground, especially if the helper/encourager is the one who put them there. It just reinforces the real spirit of competition. Hey, I want to beat you and I want to beat you when you are at your best!
Those closest to us. It seems so obvious that we would encourage family. But really when was the last time you did it? If it is now four p.m. and you last did it at 8 a.m. probably you are behind. And if you have a large family then you are way behind. It does not take time and it is worth it. Now pick up that phone.
Cheer leader. I hope you don't think that I am talking about empty ra ra's here. And if you cannot feel what I am talking about then I understand. In that case do the ra ra's and fake it until you make it. If you cannot do the encouraging word thing with sincerity it would be easy to say "do not do it". But that is a cop out. Still do it and in time you will learn how to mean it.
Then I told my son to draw me one of my other son.
Love ya, but leave my stuff alone.
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