Giving compliments: empowering or manipulating?


acknowledgementWhen I give compliments in my close relationship. Am I authentic or is it a manipulation, meaning I want to get something?

When my children made their first steps, I was cheering and happy amazingly.

We know that these compliments and cheers are empowering our children to dare more. When we get support from strangers, we acknowledge them and we find it authentic. Actually, if we would support a stranger, we would expect to get acknowledgement. BUT, when it is in our close contact – suddenly there is a doubt – am I manipulating – meaning is it real or just an artificial act to please the other, or to get something? We live in a culture where we tend to criticize ourselves and others very easily, but when someone is performing well, for a long time we take it for granted.

The answer to those moments of doubts, can be found in the following self-reflection exercise:

  • Allow yourself to ask for a simple support from a stranger, and look at your willingness to thank the person, and how do you feel if you would not acknowledge this support.
  • Look at their body-language and see the authenticity, when they give without condition.
  • Then – offer your support to a stranger, and look how you feel when you are acknowledged.
  • Who do you doubt then? Your self-trust or theirs?

The answer is in the self-trust and authenticity areas. When I trust myself – it will be perfect to acknowledge the contribution of someone else to my life, without looking at it as a need. When I trust myself – I will not doubt my authenticity, as I am powerful enough to give as much as to receive. When I doubt my authenticity, it is a clear sign of my hesitation about my self-trust and my self-respect.

I trust my willingness to give beyond any proof. It is my contribution and my care.

5 thoughts on “Giving compliments: empowering or manipulating?

  1. Jefta

    Great tips. I wrote the steps down in my own words to really ‘own the process’ and am looking forward to creating moments where I can apply them!
    Thanks for sharing Yiftach!

  2. Rene

    Acknowledgement is never an obviousness reaction. Eventhough we expect it, there is always room for acknowledging yourself for the steps you made. Why depend on another person, when selfconfrontation is so close ? Selftrust challenges your honesty, out of which acknowledgement could evolve, beyond feelings and thoughts.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 − = seven

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>