There is this pernicious lie going around that praising someone publicly, in the Internet age, is somehow sycophantry. You have something nice to say about other people on a consistent basis? You’re a sycophant! This is a bunch of BS abusiveness masquerading as thought.
People are dulled and insensitive because the general condition of the world is addiction. Everyone is looking for a dopamine rush and since there is no positive feedback to get caught in for the addict, only ugliness will do. This is how the heights of love and adulation get cut down to petty bickering and paranoia, in a person’s mind.
The fact remains that the haters of praise lack an ability to bond. Their circuits are fried. They’re like feral dogs in the pound who recoil at the slightest touch. We cannot take social cues from people in such a condition.
We need people who keep a positive attitude and build others up consistently. The way to build people up is no secret: you praise them. The praise has to be accurate and it cannot be disruptive. You cannot give a person praise to the point where it takes over their thought process. You don’t want to psych someone out, that’s the limit. It’s up to the person to let you know but you can also note to see if their progress is disrupted and they start depending on you for the praise. You also do not praise people for the qualities they had from birth. You praise them for their agency, their discernment, and the other tools they’ve built up from their hard-won life experience.
The best kind of praise informs a person of their own self-replicating virtue. There’s probably a better way to phrase this but it’s been a few years since I’ve had this thought. Praise is partly feedback, beyond the adulation. When it is at its best, it plugs a person into their own efficacy.
I am not stingy with my praise. I thrive off of praise. I dislike unsupportive people. There is a way to empower others in their difficulties without shaming them or trying to flame down their enthusiasm for whatever venture they have, however healthy or misguided.
People who praise very little have few positive feelings to go around. The thing about sharing is that if you’re who you truly are, you have unending amounts to give. The best parents give their very life essence to their children and don’t think twice about it. The same goes for the few people who build civilization and keep it going.