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The Art of Appreciation Tribune Article 1/28/18

The Art of Appreciation


Cultivating and tending to a garden requires time and patience, but in the end, your care and nurturing produces a bounty of fruits and vegetables or a landscape of magnificent flowers.  As much as sunshine and water play a role in the growth and development of seeds, scientists have proven that nurturing plants in a peaceful, loving setting accelerates the growth process.  The same is true for human beings, though somewhat more complex.

Reading through Jack Canfield’s book, “The Success Principles,” I was surprised how detailed the act of appreciation can be. According to Canfield, there are three different way the brain assimilates information, and that each of us has a “dominant” type we prefer. He says, “Auditory People need to hear it, visual people need to see it, and kinesthetic people like to feel it. For example, if you give visual feedback to an auditory person, it doesn’t have the same effect as verbal feedback. The auditory person might say, ‘He sends me letters, cards, and emails, but he never takes the time to pick up the phone or walk over here and tell me face-to-face.’” (Note to self- This book should be required reading for all couples in serious relationships, parent-child relationships, and work relationships.”  This is huge!

While the auditory person prefers to hear praise, visual people react joyfully when they see something tangible like flowers or cards that they can allow to linger around their cubicle at work or on their coffee table at home. Canfield continues, “Kinesthetic people like to feel the appreciation such as a hug, a handshake, a high five, a pat on the back, going for a walk together, going out dancing, a back rub, or taking time to play a sport together.”

So, you might ask what to look for in a person that signals what type of care and praise serves them. The key is to listen for what they are asking for in phrases like, “My kids never call me” or “Bring me a souvenir from your trip” or “I could sure use a hug right now.”  The moral of this story is to practice the art of appreciation, then sit back and watch your relationships thrive. Now, come on over here and give me a hug.

Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, January 28, 2018.

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