Have You Given Someone Praise Today?


Wait…

Let me alter the question a bit.

Why?

Because I personally think that this new questions is harder to be answered, not because we don’t know the answer to it, but because it might have been in our minds.

Yes. It might have just sit there quietly all this time as we think that the answer would lead us to guilt.

How many times have you given someone critique this week? This month?

What is Critique?

Critique (as outlined in Wikipedia) is a method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. Although critique is commonly understood as fault finding and negative judgment, it can also involve merit recognition, and in the philosophical tradition it also means a methodical practice of doubt.

Simply put, critique might be a thoughtful comment, aimed to improve the state of the subject. It might also be an ignorant comment, either in the way it is communicated or in its approach to issue.

… So What?

We are human. We are, unfortunately, equipped with not only our beautiful mind, but also the insecurity that we might not be enough in this world.

How would one ignorant critique erode our confidence that comes from our mind?

It might not. (Remember The Fear of Being Judged?)

But… What would happen if we are bombarded with lots of critiques everyday for a full year, for every projects that we handled?

I have not understood why negative critique is easier to replicate than the positive one (Is it the legacy of the past? The false perception that praising renders us inferior? The biases in our cultures?). Anyways, it sure happens more frequently than the other one.

A simple example would be forgetting to say thanks to an office boy helping us, because we think it is his job to help us. It is. But isn’t it also our responsibility to create better environment, one where we encourage one another to be more proud, confident, and appreciated?

In another, we might feel grateful towards others, but might have just kept it for ourselves (which might be good for ourselves, but for others whose morale could have used boost from us?).

If you’d like to, try this simple exercise. Note down how many times in a day we say things harshly to, or even just think a little bad of, others. Usually I note it down in my mind, but since the list goes a long way, I need help of physical things that I can look at when the night comes). If the list is long, well, we’re still learning to navigate and be better. If it’s super short, great for you and your environment!

It would be great if you’d share your tips on how to be a better critic, as I am still limited to:

Whenever we encounter a condition that is not as we expect it to be, take a moment to breathe and think why it happens (not whom does it). Then, confirm our understanding of the condition before finally expressing our concerns. Be sure to always ask for feedbacks back!

P.S. Thanks for your encouragements today! I find it difficult to simply be thankful in person, for some reasons.

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