Giving and receiving thanks and praise
Overall, I’m happy with how this activity went and how I feel about myself as a result of it. I really don’t understand why I am so uncomfortable with this, because it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I think it is a confidence thing, in particular having the confidence that I won’t say the wrong thing and screw it up. It might also have to do with the fact that, as mentioned a few times, I really bad at receiving praise and thanks. As a result I think I project this onto others at times, hesitating because I would feel uncomfortable if someone made a fuss.
It wasn’t that hard though, instead of projecting the feelings of embarrassment that I feel I projected the other feelings, when I know that someone genuinely appreciates or see value in what I do. This was assisted by the compliments I had been receiving as 30 days of fashion, so I think I was sort of primed to do this activity.
So for this aspect of the activity I achieved what I wanted – I am more comfortable giving praise/thanks and am also more comfortable receiving it, to the point that there were even times that I sought it out a little.
Asking for thanks and praise
I had a discussion with the other people in my work unit (all two of them) the other day about the end of this activity. I mentioned that I hadn’t asked for thanks or praise, and we talked a little about why. I think the main reason was that nothing came up that I felt I had to ask. The people I work with, and particularly my boss, are quite complimentary anyway, so I didn’t feel that there was anything lacking that I felt I should discuss being thanked or praised.
Then there was the discussion about providing positive feedback about the writing in the blog, since this is a very important element of the project for me. So I have asked for praise, but these discussions were with Derek, and while they were still challenging and vulnerable discussions I think that doing this with someone who is not my partner would be a different challenge.
Mindfulness and the Golden Rule
There are really two parts to this, the mindfulness part where I was trying to have a positive impact on others and applying the Golden Rule. We’ll start with the mindfulness part first, since this is easy to reflect on.
I really enjoyed focusing on others and trying to have a positive impact on their lives. For the most part these were small things, but there were a few days that I feel like I did something that really influenced a person’s day (and maybe a little bit more than that).
The Golden Rule continues to challenge me in some respects. Using it as a means of achieving the mindfulness activity above, yep no problems there. The issue is about continuing to apply the Golden Rule, or continue to be compassionate when people are being less than considerate of others. But I’ve come a level of peace about this because I had always considered doing a “30 days of compassion” activity.
So I’ve purchased Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life in the hopes that I have a better working knowledge when I get to that activity. That sounds a little odd to me reading that back, since I think I am a genuinely compassionate person, but I’m hoping that Karen’s book covers off the issues I’ve been having.
In summation, I will continue to try to do thanks, praise and mindfulness but without being so singularly focused on them. I like having a positive impact on other people’s lives and think that the world would be a better place if we were all a little more focused on being nice to others.
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