Real Men Don't Write Blogs

Exploring love, marriage, and other difficulties.

If You Like Something, Say Something

People just love positive reinforcement. Starting at least as far back as Dale Carnegie, the message in book after book has been this: Let people know you like what they’ve done. Read More

If You Like Something, Say Something

Hey Mark,

After reading your article I am reminded of all the other excellent articles i've read online that i've never even thought about commenting on!

I read Dale Carnaegie's book years ago and have long since forgotten about it, so I would like to thank your for reminding me about the uplifting messages it contains.

My problems are that:

(a) i'm a good deal lazier and more selfish that I would like to admit

(b) giving positive reinforcement takes time and effort (Had it not been for this particular subject matter, I would have thought twice about bothering to write this comment!)

(c) i've become accustomed to a world where positive reinforcement is seldom given without an ulterior motive
(You're looking very well today sir, and can I interest you in some double glazing ?)

Having said that, I have taken onboard much of what you say in your article and believe that there may be some karmic benefit in giving positive reinforcement, so I have made a mental note to provide it when appropriate (so long as I can avoid coming across as a weirdo!)

By the way, GREAT ARTICLE !!!


Chris Andrews

Thanks for your comment

Hi, Chris.

Thanks for your comment. I'm very glad you found my piece useful.

And thank you, too, for your compliment about the piece. I very much appreciate it.

So Relatable


I really enjoyed this blog and it certainly hits home. As a fellow PT blogger, I know how it is to work hard on a piece and not receive feedback. Nowadays we have to assume people like our creative work because we see the hit counters rise and the Facebook "likes" and Tweets. But the numbers are no substitute for the qualitative appreciation of a personal note. Here is mine and may you receive many more!

Brad Waters

Using the "Sandwich" When Giving Feedback

Hi Mark,

Great article. I especially liked the part about finding something nice to say first before saying anything else. I've also taught quite a few college classes and have had to grade quite a few assignments. I use the "sandwich" which basically requires you to look for the postive and note it first, follow that up with constructive feedback and then end on a positive note, if only to say "Good effort."

What's interesting in all of this is how hard most people find it to say something positive or to pay someone a compliment, yet, generally speaking, we have no problems pointing out the negative in something or someone. Perhaps if we focused on complimenting our spouses/significant others more often, we'd have more harmonious relationships. Ditto with friendships and with our co-workers. It's something worth working on because the end result is that you can create stronger connections with others.

And if you want some straight feedback from someone, you can ask for that too and you can ask for them to give it to you gently.

All food for thought.


Thank you for taking the time

Thank you for taking the time to write this article! I really enjoyed reading it. As a college student, I can say that the smallest encouragement from a teacher is incredibly reinforcing and motivating. It is encouraging to hear that there are teachers that approach their grading the way you did.
I am glad that you mentioned reinforcing talented people who might be thought of as being frequently engulfed in compliments; I think what you said about them is true. I also appreciate you mentioning that giving someone reinforcement can backfire, although those situations are few and far between; most people are very happy to receive reinforcement.
Thanks again for the great article!

thank you

Well, thank you for your kind words.
I appreciate it.

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Mark Sherman, Ph.D., is a psychologist and humor writer.


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