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Words Can Be Sharper Than A Knife

  Some people care too much on what they say and some never even bother to think before saying anything. Quite often we underestimate the influence of the spoken word and the way it impacts upon our lives. Everything we say or think has the potential to be constructive or destructive.  The words of King Solomon come to mind, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”.

Numerous studies have shown what an extremely influential tool a compliment is.  A word of praise and a “being nice” attitude often means more than a pay raise or a gift. Psychologists admit that couples with the strongest relationships are those who encourage and praise each other. I couldn’t agree more. It is vitally important. We are all human and need to feel loved and appreciated and compliments form an important sense of making us feel special. And all of us, whether we voice it or keep to ourselves, want to feel noticed, acknowledged and special. Compliments are a powerful and positive force and a kind word is a great motivator. What is more, our attitude towards another person is strongly influenced by how he/she makes us feel about ourselves. It is like a psychological mirroring effect.

Dale Carnegie, the developer of famous courses in self-improvement and the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, believed that financial success is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people”.  He emphasized fundamental techniques for handling people and underlined the principle “Give honest and sincere appreciation” without making them feel manipulated.

One can debate the influence of Dale Carnegie’s ideas and principles. However their timelessness is an enormous point in their favour.  To me, even in our time, his ideas still appeal.  They continue to have real strength and value. And while sceptics may be disdainful, claiming his ideas are simple and obvious, ideas such as simply being genuinely interested in other people, being a good listener, making the other person feel important – and does it sincerely- can go a long way.  I know when we start to follow this type of advice in a real way we will see positive changes in all of our relationships.

My belief in the power of a sincere compliment is very strong. If such words turn out to be mere flattery or worse, manipulation, then sooner or later the truth will surface. An honest appreciation for the people around you, heartfelt admiration in identifying traits of value always proves itself to be worthwhile. Complimenting people shows we are aware of others and we care.

We should never underestimate the power of a compliment in our career and personal life. It gives us a feel-good emotion. Showing our appreciation can help our partner feel validated and loved. Life can be difficult   and having a supportive partner means a tremendous amount. It is crucial to pay attention to the words we use and to consider the effects they can have on our relationships.

Additionally, sincere gratitude can improve our physical and emotional health. Studies show that being appreciated increases overall well-being. Actually, one study by Robert Emmons, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis, indicates that a regular gratitude practice help people “appreciate life to the fullest”- even during periods in which we experience difficult life events.

As Robert Orben noted: “A compliment is like verbal sunshine”. Well, it really is. I think we need to make time to make others feel appreciated. Praise expanses power.

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