An increasing amount of research is showing that strong, healthy relationships are among the most important elements that contribute to a life well-lived.
That puts efforts to earn more appreciation from others at (or near) the top of the list, when it comes to enhancing your level of professional and personal success.
Fortunately, the behaviors that earn you appreciation from others are fairly straightforward, easy to do, and – unless you’re a narcissist – mostly more or less enjoyable.
They include the following:
It works with parenting. It works on the job. It works with friends and family. People appreciate a person who behaves consistently.
Moodiness, alternating bouts of good and bad temper, emotional fragility, or a tendency toward any kind of unpredictability make others wary of trusting you. From there it’s a short step to naturally feel uncertain as to how best to behave from one day – sometimes one hour – to the next.
If this is how you behave, your relationships will suffer.
On the other hand, day to day demonstrations of stable priorities, values, attitudes, emotionality, general personality, and approaches to your work and your life enable people to more easily recognize who you are and how to build a satisfactory relationship with you.
They will come to appreciate you, and your place in their lives.
Cooperate, Don’t Dictate
People routinely have problems, face challenges, feel preferences, and try to make their own choices. We feel better when we have company along the way. That’s why one of the best ways to build a relationship is to spend time with someone “in their world.”
But the way you visit with other people is very important. People tend to feel resentful when the other person is rigid, demanding, manipulative, secretive, unwilling to accept or even consider their preferences, or downright dictatorial.
People tend to feel more comfortable when the person spending time with them is cooperative, helpful, easy going, emotionally open, honest, and willing to accept – or at least listen to and consider – their ideas and choices.
In other words, you can earn more appreciation when you give up trying to “be the boss” and simply engage with the other person, cooperating willingly – perhaps even enthusiastically – as they try to navigate through life in their own way.
Of course, this dynamic works both ways: you need not try to be appreciated by letting others walk all over you. Too much compliance is more likely to earn you contempt than appreciation.
Take an Interest
It’s easier to get along with others and earn their appreciation if you take a genuine interest in what they think, feel, know, and do. Sometimes, this is totally difficult or even impossible, particularly when the other person strikes us as offensive, prickly, or arrogant. Sometimes, it’s very easy, particularly when we like and/or admire the other person.
But these occasions of instant, intense emotion are relatively rare. Most of the time, the people we’re interacting with don’t immediately drive us to feel anything close to hate or love. We generally start out with no strong feeling about them, which makes it all too easy to convey that we don’t much care.
That’s going to earn you very little appreciation.
A better approach is to recognize that everyone has a history, a personality, and a life, and that these personal stories are somewhat different – perhaps completely different – from those of others we know.
When you take this attitude, your interactions with other people can become learning experiences, investigations into how this person ticks, and interesting interludes that can offer insights and lessons to help improve your own situation.
Whether or not a particular person ever becomes your best friend, you can experience pretty much everyone as interesting enough that you can show them your genuine appreciation for knowing and spending time with them.
That’s one of the best – and most honest – ways for you to earn more appreciation from them.
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