I am truly grateful for that Wednesday reminder I get thanks to that now old suggestion by the wonderful Lolly Daskal to start #OtherEsteem Wednesday on Twitter. I recently made an effort to revive it, which I blogged about here. (Thanks again, folks!)
Though it rises and wanes over there, it does serve as a reminder to me to walk my other esteem talk and practice, practice, practice. I find that the mere fact that it is that day of the week, nudges me toward writing about it, exploring it, coming back to it.
Recently, I have been participating in a 12 week program featuring otheresteem to celebrate the upcoming publishing of the much-awaited Spanish version of my book. Being with this bunch for 12 whole weeks on the subject, coming back to it, deepening, exploring has kept me nimble and made the relevance of practice even more evident.
I thought the same when I went to the theater with my son the other day. The show was a monologue about what being human means. The actor has been doing the same monologue for more than 20 years. Talk about practice! I bet he gets something different out of the experience every time, too!
What are the constants in your life that you come back to? Might valuing others become one of them and change the way you interact and view the people around you?
P.S. If you speak Spanish and want to take a peek at the program (first four weeks are free along with 5 other courses on Happiness, Image, Spirituality and Riches) click HERE.
Last night I had the wonderful opportunity of talking to Susan Mazza and Lolly Daskal on their radio show, “You Matter”. (You can listen to the recording of it here.) As always when I speak to each of these women, I am left with much reflection and new insights. During the conversation, Lolly brought up the point that it is difficult for many people to receive praise. This definitely affects the way we practice appreciation, one of the four central aspects of otheresteem. In the book, I recall an excerpt from “Something So Right”, a song originally with lyrics and Music by Paul Simon that was adapted for Barbra Streisand’s 1974 album THE WAY WE WERE.
“When something goes right,
well it’s likely to lose me
it’s apt to confuse me.
It’s such an unusual sight!
(Oh, I swear, I swear)
I can’t get used to something so right.”
Giving and receiving praise is an important part of building relationships and, though it may feel unnatural at first, it is an easy thing to warm up to if you get it right. When praise is sincere and from the heart, said with the only intention of sharing what we find to be true, it is a powerful way of building a connection between people. In our conflict dissolution sessions, my colleagues and I frequently ask people at odds with eachother to express what they appreciate in the other person and what they would like to thank them for. After disbelieving looks and some awkward shifting around in their chairs, they humor us with their first shot at it. The effect is usually nothing short of magic. They are frequently impressed to learn that there is more to their view of eachother than they knew. We can get back to the difficulties now, armed with the knowledge that not all is awful. It takes the edge off, and helps to create the beginning of a conversation for improvement in their relationship.
So, as any practice, it takes some perfecting. Though you might be met with suspicion in your first attempts at appreciating others, as you get better and better at it, you will understand yourself more and have a powerful way of communicating the positive.
How good are you at receiving praise? How might you make yourself more comfortable with it?