Who doesn’t like to hear kind and encouraging words directed to them? Scientific and Psychological studies have proven that there are great benefits of positive, verbal encouragement – especially when it is consistent – as it leads to more positive thinking. There are a few ways to express encouragement that help it to be its most beneficial to the lucky recipient. And, its no surprise, you will feel the incredible benefits of being the kindness-giver.
First, Be Sincere.
Tossing kindnesses all about is a wonderful thing, but sincerely communicating your genuine, positive thoughts to someone… well, that is on another bionic, encouragement level, altogether. When someone is sincere, they will look a person in the eye, maybe even reach out and pat their back, squeeze their hand or give a warm hug. Each helps to confirm the quality and credibility to the words being spoken. This can set the sincere, encourager apart from random, positive, verbal-joy-flingers. By the way, we LOVE the verbal-joy-flingers and their magical flitting about. They have an innate sincerity and positivity we would all do well to imitate. But, I am speaking specifically to that one-on-one, sincere encouragement. It only takes a moment to say something nice to someone else. Add just that extra conscious effort to communicate with sincerity.
Second, Be Specific.
What has impressed, delighted or inspired you about another? Their vibrant smile? Their humble apology? Their work ethic? When you encourage someone, its nice to tell them specifically what it is about them that you’re feeling good about and even how it has inspired or impressed you. All too often its easy to think something nice about another, but miss the opportunity to allow those words to take flight from your lips and dance on the ears of the other. You could say, “Rebecca, you have such a great smile” and that alone would likely make her day. But, what if you were even more specific and said, “Rebecca, you have such a great smile. Every time I see it, it helps me to remember to smile more myself. Its infectious – thank you.” Being that specific in your encouragement takes just an extra breath, but can ensure the receiver will not soon forget how important and valuable that their presence is. And, for each person to have an opportunity to be reminded of their innate value in just being themselves, that’s incredibly powerful, motivational and inspirational.
Third, Be Spontaneous.
Practicing encouragement helps us be better at giving it, and in so doing, helps raise the level of positive energy that radiates from us. Scientific studies have proven that this attracts more positive people, things and situations to us. So, being positively, verbally expressive helps ourselves. Engage in spontaneous encouragement. When you are sincere and specific, you can carry on through your day without missing a beat and still spread the good. Practice telling that co-worker that you’re inspired to see how hard they work and how persistent they are. Let the barista at the coffee house know that their warm smile is nice to see. Take a moment to walk over to the man that just helped an older woman open a door and let him know that his act of kindness was really nice to see.
And, I simply must add that practicing sincere, specific, spontaneous encouragement is wonderful with most people at most times. However, beginning with those closest to us can reap relationship rewards that will be astounding. Sincere kindnesses can re-invigorate a relationship and re-establish trust, respect and love. If your honey has been humble enough to set ego aside and apologize or take responsibility in an error, that is the perfect opportunity to respond with “Thank you so much for saying that. That really means a lot to me.” This re-enforces the focus on the good part of the situation (the apology) and gives everyone a moment to breathe in the healing nature of humility and encouragement.
Its always nice to verbalize your gratitude specifically: “Thank you for making dinner. I know you’re tired and I appreciate it”, “Thank you for taking the trash out. You are such a great help”, “You look fantastic. Blue is a great color on you”, etc… Practice, practice, practice looking for the lovely things to encourage sincerely, specifically and spontaneously and enjoy the expansion of your own, wonderful glow.