Maybe you’re heard it takes 10 positive words to negate 1 negative one.  I’ve had those experiences where I’ve had a bunch of positive, encouraging comments, but then that one negative one sticks with me.  Yet recently, the opposite happened.  Someone who was well-known in my profession said something positive about my contribution (I wasn’t present at the time).  When that comment was relayed to me, it made my day.  It stuck in my head.  In a narcissistic way, it inflated my ego. Got me thinking about whether the content itself is more important than the source of those comments. Some tangents of thoughts:

TANGENT 1

I realize that if that same person were to say something critical, it would probably stick even more.  At the same time, if I had only the positive comment from that person, and someone else (perhaps someone who’s opinion didn’t carry as much weight) said something negative, I’d venture to guess that the negative comment wouldn’t stick with me as much.  So the source does matter.  It reminds me: if my opinion is considered a heavily weighted one for some people, my criticism or encouragement may dwell with that person longer than I intended, so I need to be aware of what comments are made around which people.

TANGENT 2

On the other hand, the amount of encouragement or criticism you give also has an impact.  There are some people who shower others with encouragement.  It’s helpful and it’s their gift.  However, there are others who are not as liberal with their encouragement.  Yet, when you do get it, which one has more weight: the person who showers you with it or the person who tends to hold back?  I don’t know about you, but the latter person seems to have more of an effect on me.  I remember in my childhood that my dad was the type who didn’t “lavish” encouragement.  Yet there was the one time when he heard me preach, and gave me some great positive feedback.  It stuck with me for days.  I realize that I am not always as liberal with my encouragement as well.  Maybe I need to be a bit more.  But I also think that when those words of encouragement or praise come, it’ll have more impact.

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