Nearly everyday I learn something new about or from my amazing husband. And if I don’t, I probably missed something that day. Lessons learned from his father, he believes in a higher law of receiving your reward.
He tells of going with his father, giving to friends/neighbors with needs greater than his family, and running away. The idea being, that if you help someone and let it be known, that you have already received your reward. But if you give, and do it without acknowledgment, your reward will be so much greater.
There’s always that good feeling when helping someone, but it’s almost like the Grinch’s heart that grew so large after returning gifts to the “Whos”…doing something for someone in secret.
In general, I’m pretty shy when it comes to receiving recognition or being the center of attention. I’m the one who still gets embarrassed when “Happy Birthday” is sung. I appreciate a thank you or good job, if it’s not done too loudly. (Though I can’t say that I always felt this way). My husband is even shyer. I tell his mom about his accomplishments…mostly to thank her or remind her that she is a great mom. But he would never bring them up on his own.
So what about the Praise Seekers? Do you know a praise seeker? What is a Praise Seeker? I have a couple people in my life, very close to me, that I consider praise seekers. I care a great deal about both of them, and so it’s hard to decide what to do when they are begging for praise. One, loves to give gifts, and feels they are the greatest gifts ever and that you should accept them with that sort of gratitude. The hard part is that no matter how thankful I express myself, I have two overwhelming emotions that follow:
That I’m being dishonest and fake, and that no matter what I say, my thanks will not be enough, that the giver will not be satisfied It’s difficult feeling this way. When I see a gift coming, I cringe, for I know that ultimately, I will not be happy with my reaction or performance.
The other person in my life loves to help, but is continually asking how they can help, if they’re helping, then, when you thank them, they say it is nothing, or that they did not do a good job. Begging for compliments, is an appropriate description of the situation. Again, I feel that no matter how many times I say thank you, that it will never be enough and that it will not satisfy the helper. Once again, when I see the “help” coming, I get nervous for what is to come. At times I get so frustrated that I almost wish I’d not had the help at all.
My praise seeking encounters will most likely never be overcome or even lessened, but what can I do to avoid the immediate gratification (and making others feel uneasy) and focus on greater rewards in my own life? I think that without personal fulfillment, we need others to verify our self worth. We rely on giving or helping so that we can receive that praise we need to feel good about ourselves.
So accept with me, the challenge to personally find fulfillment. Believe that you are worth something because you like what you are doing or accomplishing. Be happy in knowing that you are bringing joy to another life without fanfare or acknowledgement. Take time each day to be grateful for the gifts in your life. Recognize these gifts, share them, and use them to create happiness.
And find that peace that my Father-in-law found, and that my husband is finding, in receiving greater rewards.