-



 
 



Daily Inspiration

The child's eyes looked at her, big brown eyes, innocent and filled with love, a child of love. Her heart melted as she gathered him in her arms, tears in her eyes, her loneliness evaporated in the moment of unfettered connection. Today, let us allow the pure and loving Child within to shine forth, sharing love with each other.

By Dr. Margaret Paul


Are You on Your Mobile Phone? Click here for 2800+ mobile optimized, self help and self growth articles.

Approval and Appreciation: Effective Relationship Communication

By Dr. Margaret Paul
December 31, 2006



Discusses the difference in intent in our relationships between approval and appreciation. We are often not conscious of this difference and the effects it has on our relationships. The communication of approval is often a manipulation, while the communication of appreciation is generally a gift.



At one of my three-day advanced mini-intensive in Santa Barbara we had a wonderful discussion about the difference between approval and appreciation. I had never thought about the difference until someone asked about it. As so often happens when someone asks a question, the answer came through me and others and delighted all of us.

We realized that approval is something we give from our wounded self. Approval is conditional upon the other person performing in the way we want or expect. Approval is manipulative - that is, we give it with an outcome in mind. We hope that the other person will continue to do what we want as a result of the approval.

Appreciation, on the other hand, is something we offer from our loving Adult. It comes from the heart and is offered spontaneously as the heart wells up with feelings of delight, awe, joy, or love regarding another's way of being. Appreciation has much more to do with essence that with performance. We are appreciating a person's core Self, who they are and the results of who they are, rather than merely their performance. There is no attachment to the outcome, no expectation that the other should or will continue to perform. Appreciation is a true gift.

Often when someone says they want appreciation or do not feel appreciated, what they are really seeking is approval. It is the wounded self who is not feeling seen and appreciated within. The wounded self then projects outward the need to be seen, understood and appreciated and pulls from others to get this need met. Whenever I hear someone say that they do not feel appreciated, I know that their Inner Child is not being seen and loved by their Adult.

When we are giving ourselves the attention and appreciation that we need and we then receive appreciation from others, it feels wonderful but it is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. When it becomes the cake itself, then we need to look within and recognize that we have handed over to others the job of defining and validating our own essence.

When you share something about yourself with the intent of getting approval, attention or appreciation, it doesn't feel like sharing to other people. Instead they feel pulled at to validate you. When you share something about yourself with the intent of offering something to others, it feels like a gift. This is clearly illustrated in the wonderful movie, Good Will Hunting. In this movie the therapist, played by Robin Williams, shares much personal information about himself with his client Will, an angry and resistant young man. He shared it, not because he wanted or needed anything back, but purely to help Will feel safe in opening to his own pain.

We can all challenge ourselves to be aware of our intent when we offer positive feedback to others - is it a true gift or does it have strings attached? And we can challenge ourselves to be aware of our intent when we share things about ourselves - are we giving or trying to get?



Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
CC BY-NC-ND


Send this article to a friend    Print this article    Bookmarked 3 time(s)
Bookmark and Share    Share with Del.icio.us    submit 'Approval and Appreciation: Effective Relationship Communication' to digg Share with Digg    Share with StumbleUpon
There are no videos, Click to add one to the gallery!
There is no audio, Click to add audio to the gallery!
There are no pictures, Click to add one to the gallery!

Comments

Author Comment Date

There are 2 member comments on this article.

Join the Inner Bonding Community to add your comment to articles and see the comments of others...


More Help

Looking for help with Approval and Appreciation: Effective Relationship Communication?

Search for solutions on Approval and Appreciation: Effective Relationship Communication within the InnerBonding.com website using Google's Site Search.