Praise Shocker


Having just spent a few days at Mom’s house, it is often a treacherous path to navigate not knowing what sudden mood shift (in her) may occur and leave me dangling perilously off the side of a narrow footpath I travel when in her presence, ready to plummet to my own demise.

There were surprisingly no dangerous elements that appeared and the visit was pleasant.  I even experienced an extremely rare phenomenon; praise.

With a bit of dumbfounded shock at receiving praise, momentary silence and confusion stilled my being as I looked in her direction. I soon smiled and replied; Thank you!    My mind reflected on the time that I learned of the concept of ‘modeling’, not where you are photographed and splashed on glossy magazine pages and covers.  The kind of modeling where you behave in a way that sets an example for others (to hopefully imitate).

Many years back, I had taken the approach to compliment and praise mother on her ability to navigate her own difficult life’s journey.   In my family there were never ( that I can recall ) praises or compliments.  When I spoke these kind, supportive words to her that first time she responded by laughing at me, as though she thought I was putting her on or pulling her leg.

I would repeat the kind words over the months and years and she no longer laughed but began to listen, to hear me.  Then, one afternoon I was driving her somewhere while I was staying over for a visit and out of no where she said; ” I am proud of you “.

My mind said, “What?!?”  I felt a deep sense of shock and disbelief as the words lingered in the air within the automobile, I started to question myself at what I just heard and then dismissed my doubts and jumped in with a heartfelt, stunned “thank you.”  Wow!  At 50 y.o. I got what I had always wanted from my mother, praise.  Only wish I hadn’t been behind the wheel and could have crashed from the shock of it all.  It was a real big moment, in my mind and heart.

That ‘modeling’ concept works!

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9 Comments

  1. Thank you for your visit to my Mindful 4 (Jan) post.
    I have walked on eggshells most of my life in regards to parents. I was told to ‘Do as I say and not as I do.’ So I did. And eventually, hopefully became a good person. I just sometimes wish I hadn’t taken so long to say; “Hey, can we be more positive with each other on the road to respect.” I like your resolution to offer praise. You did good. You are a wonderful example. It gets tricky when our loved ones start treading on the ‘dementia’ road. But every smile is worth it. Best to you in the New Year.

    Reply
  2. Kind words, once spoken, cultivate love. Kind acts, done with love, work wonders.
    Thanks for sharing this example, however long and difficult it was in its making.
    ♡eM

    Reply
  3. I love this.

    Reply
  4. I can relate totally. I have started trying to do the same thing. I have been working on being an example of how a person should recognize the good things in others by complimenting my mother. She gets really uncomfortable lol. The other day she made the statement that if I started saying all of these nice things that she may get an ego and she said, you know that I don’t believe in praising people too much. lol

    Reply
    • Keep at it 🙂 Yes, my mom actually laughed at me That was her being uncomfortable.

      Reply
      • when my mother said that about how she doesn’t believe in giving too much praise, I reacted in a way that let her know that I was very aware of that and I thought it was not a good thing lol.

        Reply

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