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How much appreciation is O.K…?

April 8, 2009

Would you give your mother or your spouse a 100 rupee note saying “wow, dinner was great..? “

Is there a thing as too much appreciation..?

Everyone wants to be recognized and appreciated. Praised if put in better a word and that is the human instinct. That boosts one’s morale’ and makes us want to strive for better in life’s endeavors. But what is the limit of appreciation. What kind of appreciation leaves us feeling bad rather than pleasing?

Well… if it is a genuine appreciation it definitely makes us happy. But it should end in wanting for more…

Some people take the matter of praising others way too seriously and do it all the time. It may be genuine, I don’t doubt that but too much of it makes it feel insincere as we are not used to it.

In this society we are somehow taught to control our true expressions. And controlling expressing appreciation is one of those, as it might have some slightly grey effects on a person. It could create an egotistical personality out of a simpleton. So we shower the appreciation cautiously and sparingly. And I feel that is in a way good for the person too, as behaving in a way just to get appreciation may become tiring after a certain limit. And it also keeps a check on the person’s growing head size.

Like in the first question I asked about giving money if you like an act of a person, will it make the person happy or feel degraded? It might work fine in an office setting where to award a good employee you give him/her a raise, but will it be suitable in family? We do give children gifts in return if good deeds, but to family members equal or in higher order of hierarchy than us… Will it work in the same way?

If we keep praising someone in this world today, we attract suspicion regarding the genuineness of it.

I personally feel ‘too much of everything is bad’. But as it is not that common to find someone who is a praise-maniac, we need not worry.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2009 10:19 am

    Hmmmm this a dicey one…I mean in India we have this culture of handng out money if you do something good & new. But yes you are right excess of anything is bad and we used to enjoy getting money in exchange of appreciation when we were kids…..but ab accha nahin lagta!!!

    But yes how we curse when we don’t get good money in appriasal 😉 & that is why I said this one is dicey he he he….

    You know I have people here who are into self-appreciation and that is what I hate most and in case if they appreciate me for something it is quite surprising 😀 but yes it depends how good we are at judging people because if we are good at it then we can easily understand which appreciation is hollow & which is genuine…

    Your posts always make me think & say too much hehehe 🙂

    i write to know what others think of the matters i think about so welcome to write longer comments. 🙂

    yes in India ‘bakshish’ or ‘tip’ (tip makes it sound cheap) is common, and a sign of appreciation we show towards the service provider. but when done amongst family it feels like lowering the stature of the person (unless they are kids).

    self-appriciation is one more common flaw. i usually can’t stop laughing when someone does that in front of me.. 🙂

    and yes if we know the person we can judge the genuineness of the praise too.

  2. April 8, 2009 12:44 pm

    This is a nice coincidence with one of my recent posts on how to draw the line between recognition of one’s deed versus classifying it as one’s mere duty. Appreciation is very subjective. In a professional setting there are set rules and guidelines on what actions/duties qualify for a raise/bonus/promotion. This is similar with any service provider…we have an expectation of quality. And the rewards/appreciation is monetary because that’s the reason for us to work in such a setting. Our expectation is money and a livelihood out of it.

    But in a family setting, we’re ideally bound by unconditional love/affection..there are no guidelines to gauge performance. Appreciation in the form of love is that which is valued more than money. We have a different place to go to for money, and we crave for love and affection within a family unit. Within a family unit I don’t think appreciation ever becomes too much, regardless of the recipient deserving it, for there is no objective scale for love. But in a professional setting, insincere appreciations have ulterior motives of manipulation, flattery, bribery etc, which is surely degrading.

    very right.. we go to different places for different needs. to work to earn money and to family to earn love. reward of one setting may not be appropriate for the other.

    nice explanation.. thanks.

  3. April 8, 2009 2:07 pm

    I think words mean more than monetary appreciation in personal life. In job, its opposite.

    yes it is so.. but we won’t mind getting a few words of praise from the boss too.. 😉

  4. April 8, 2009 4:45 pm

    Hmm… Feeling good and holding back things without giving compliments or appreciation isn’t fair. But that doesn’t mean one should pour their hearts out in showering praises. Well Oorja, I feel a normal person can distinguish the fake n the genuine appreciations that comes his way.Don’t we..? ;-):-)

    Helping elders without embrassing ?? Sensitive matter huh!!

    yes appreciating someone is very necessary as everyone craves for approval for the society and by letting a few good words out we make the person’s day. but limit is the key word here.

    yes normal people with age learn to distinguish between the real and the fake.. 🙂

    that matter will take up a seperate post.

  5. April 8, 2009 5:00 pm

    U said the magic words……Too much of anything is bad…to an extent of bein’ ugly… and that’s how it shud be. It’s only logical.

    Well chosen topic here. Kudos.

    Andy. 🙂


    welcome here.. 🙂

  6. April 8, 2009 8:18 pm

    Like you mentioned, who doesnt like appreciations and recognitions ! and the genuine ones are easily identifiable. I personally hate those people who keeps praising till they get tired. I feel like being covered with a lot of foam all over me that needs to be wiped off 😀

    and yeah, self praise, as the proverb goes,is equal to suicide !!

    yes it feels like foam.. the first few minutes you are on cloud 9 then.. suffocation.. embaressment.. searching for way out… you want to run..
    No way.. it feels good doesn’t it.. 😉

    Praise should come from other’s hearts.

  7. April 8, 2009 10:47 pm

    asians generally don’t praise or compliment, though the modern ones these days are getting more in the habit of. personally, i give compliments more easily on the net than i do in real life. i’d like to give more compliments as part of my nature, but in person i’m rather shy to do so.

    for my parents, they’d probably try to refuse the money at first before taking it. if it’s a birthday gift then it’s alright, as it is a chinese tradition to give money for special occasions as a gift. for other people older than me i think a gift would be more suitable, or treating them to a meal.

    yes, if someone compliments me too many times i would get suspicious.

    me too i am more generous with complients on net than in real life.. not sure why.

    money as a gift.. token of love is ok.. but as token of appreciation.. how it works in family settings was my question. we’d rather give our parents gifts than money unless they need it.

  8. April 9, 2009 6:03 am

    In personal life and professional a thank you and words of appreciation are enough but in outside world where you get help from a stranger, tips help.

    yes that leaves a good impression on the service provider.

  9. April 9, 2009 8:21 am

    Aah appreciations…reminds me of what happens in my previous company. We used to wait for any kinda appreciation mail from the client and then would fwd that to the whole project..ofcourse the company would give us a gift cheque..that’s the worth of a firangi appreciation you see 🙂

    Abt appreciating mom. I have never done that,I have never depreciated her cooking either even if it was bad. So guess it kinda equalizes 🙂

    we all take our moms for granted. and i do the same many a times. but we may be wrong, maybe it does not equate. people expect to be acknowledged when good.

  10. Indyeah permalink
    April 9, 2009 8:30 am

    Words, hugs , sentiments in personal life anyday 🙂
    and in professional life, loads of raises 😀

    and yeah its always easy to make out who is being genuine and who is not..:)

    🙂 it feels good being on either side. 🙂

  11. April 9, 2009 12:40 pm

    Interesting one. I make it a point to look for something genuine that I can appreciate. And if I do not find anything to appreciate, I shut up and stay polite.

    More than appreciation, I am big on acknowledgement. A quick nice word to let the other person know that you appreciate the effort they’ve put into the mundane stuff they have done for you. There is only a thin line between not acknowledging and taking someone for granted unwittingly.

    You are right in saying that too much is bad. However, I think saying a good word genuinely goes a long way. Also, ones who don’t do it are simply being impolite.

    Like you, I am not much for monetary/ material ‘reward’ either. I feel, that becomes a bit crass unless it is the exception you have mentioned. 🙂

    yes we must acknowledge something that we genuinely like and not take a person for granted.

  12. April 10, 2009 10:30 am

    umm… flattered by someone recently, haan? 😉

    quite the opposite.. someone else (not so deserving) was being flattered in my presence.. 😦

  13. April 13, 2009 5:46 am

    Oorja, I really liked this post of yours and have now added you to my reader. I guess most commentators have said what I wanted to say but I remember once after lunch my daughter said, “Thanks Aai, that was a wonderful lunch.” I felt really nice but I guess if she did it every time it wouldn’t be the same! And if these things are never done then I guess one might feel taken for granted.

    you said just what i was feeling and why i had written it. it feels great to get a compliment now and then but routinely getting it makes it, i won’t say less important but still doesn’t feel the same.

    thanks a lot..
    Welcome here.. 🙂

  14. April 13, 2009 8:07 pm

    I agree with Nita. If you don’t appreciate at all, then you might be hurting the other person and you are taking him for granted. A small gesture here and there is necessary.

    i too feel that way. a small gesture now and then will make the person feel special..

  15. April 14, 2009 5:13 am

    Its not necessary that praise shd be in form of money…A simple thanks with smile on ur face can make other person day..he can be ur family member or any stranger…but ofcourse as other said..everything shd be in limits.

    yes even a smile can do the trick. 🙂

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