We are often told that dealing with people is a fine art. Often we are told that, “you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.” There is definitely a huge amount of information given on how to deal with people by complimenting them and appealing to their egos.
The thing is that if you look really deeply into this type of technique for dealing with people, you end up getting a bad taste in your mouth. Most people won’t admit to it, and they will play along the lines of how it is always a good thing to be nice to others. The thing is though that most of this complementing and ego boosting tends to be very shallow and untruthful. In your mind you get the picture of the person that is smiling at you but doesn’t really mean that smile. Personally I think of the hard-core salesman that would say anything to get you to feel good so that you would buy his product, or the retail person that must smile in order to get through the day but she hasn’t really felt like smiling for a very long time.
‘Political correctness’ also comes into play here where lately people seem to find it very easy to say what they believe they should say instead of being honest. What I AM trying to say is that this whole, “Win friends and influence…” type of game can be quite dubious at times. There is though a better way to deal with people using these techniques.
But how do you do this “ win friends and influence people” technique correctly? Perhaps we should begin by only complimenting those people that truly deserve it. Because it is indeed the case that those people that are good to us do need this positive feedback. It is quite often the case that these folks who treat others with respect or who provide good service are not given the kind of praise they truly need.
The praise that they truly need is truthful. This kind of praise has a certain emotional quality to it that cannot be faked and when it is given to another person it is a truly inspiring thing. It can be even a small word or two but this is enough usually to boost another person’s spirits and to give them hope about what they are doing and who they are as a person.
Praise given because it is supposed to give you an advantage over someone else so that you can get what you want is not true praise. This Kind of false praise is made up of empty words that do not have the same emotional tone; which is a truly important thing. You are lying telling someone how wonderful they are so that you get what you desire and the other person is lying to you by smiling and accepting this token to their ego like a tip for a service that they haven’t even provided yet . In the end you have two people who are participating in what has come to become known as “the politically correct society.” Deep down we know what the truth is.
The other day I had to get some x-rays done because of a certain accident that I had been in. This meant that I had to go get x-rays on two separate occasions. The lady who took my pictures was nice and quiet and did her job as efficiently as she could. On the first set of x-rays when my doctor looked at them he commented on the fact that they were very good pictures and that the person that had taken them had done a good job. When I went to see this lady again to get the further set of x-rays taken, I went through the same routine as before letting her do her job in her quiet efficient manner. In my mind I thought of the doctors praise and thought of telling her about it but then decided that I shouldn’t because I would be bothering her. I felt shy and did not want to tell her what I had heard, and then I remembered the fact that there are times when a person needs to hear that they’re doing well, that they are appreciated for what they do.
I straightened up and I told lady that the doctor had said that she had taken some great pictures and that thanks to her, his diagnosis was a lot easier. It was an honest compliment given to a person who did a good job and who probably didn’t hear that very often. This was made evident to me when she told me that it was too bad that the radiologist in charge never said such things but that she appreciated the doctors comments because she thought that he was indeed a good doctor himself.
After a little complaining like this, she started to light up and became very excited about the fact that she did a good job, on perhaps a small matter since I’m sure that she takes many x-rays a day. She made sure that I had the numbers that I needed so that I could call and find out about the results to my x-rays and while she was taking my new x-rays she did a darn good job taking extra time and extra care with each picture that she took. My complement allowed me to get better service and results.
But the truly important thing here is that my complement was an honest one and it was probably a complement that was needed because the lady probably had not heard her work praised very much in the past. My complement had an emotional honesty to it that I could not fake and it was this feeling of goodness towards that other person that made this complement so powerful. It was hardly a couple of phrases that I spoke but I’m certain that it helped her greatly and it helped me by making me feel good about what I had done; overcoming my shyness in order to let another person know that they are appreciated.
You can indeed get what you want if you go around complimenting and feeding another person’s ego. But it is far more important that you become more honest and give praise only when praise is due so that we all begin to become more honest with each other about how we feel. It is also a type of responsibility to be able to get over your shyness and praise those people that truly do a good job and are truly helping you in some way because even though you sometimes feel like it’s not important enough for you to speak up, the reality is that those people who are truly worthy of praise do need your good feelings; those loving feelings that come honestly from your heart. A praise like this can give someone meaning and it can allow them to overcome difficulties in their own lives through the strength of your positive emotional energy. Give a little love when others deserve love, such honest emotion can only bring goodness into your life and the life of others.