Samhita’s “Samhita” on Praise

Prelude: I always keep saying I don’t believe in superstitions, and I don’t believe that wearing a few stones on your fingers can change anything except the shape of your finger ( know how a finger looks tapered once you keep wearing a ring for long, and also how there’s a faint mark on that place when you open the ring? ). But yes, I do believe I am a hardcore Leo through and through. All the good, the bad and the ugly; the whole darn thing. Don’t ask me why I feel the date I was born in makes me behave in a typical way similar to millions other born at the same time. I just do. Oh, and note the irony too.

So why this seemingly irrelevant prelude? Because as all Leos would know, praise and Leos go very well together. And being a particularly authentic Leo, I too, am susceptible to praise of any kind, from any quarters. Being exceptionally appreciation-hungry has always been something I have been accused of. So naturally I consider myself to be kind of an expert in the business of praise. Having spent an insane amount of time speculating about it and viewing it from all possible angles, I have thus arrived at what I call my “Theory on the Three Kinds of Praise“. And just in case you were wondering, having a surname like Samhita, meaning theory, does make coming up with theories of my own, sort of a birth-right. Well, obligation, more like. Moving on to my theory.

The First Kind Of Praise: This is the most common one, and in my eyes, the least noteworthy. The first kind of praise is when I praise you in front of you, and when it’s just the two of us. I could come up with a million things people say to each other when they are alone, and in the “mood” to win each other over. Having said that, I am not implying that none of the compliments are genuine. It’s just that it is easy to get your way once you’ve said something good about the other person, and specially if you have done something to offend the other one (praising becomes more of a compulsion then). Only that this kind of praise runs the risk of being conceived as flattery. But then again, a few genuine compliments, thrown in now and then, could actually take you a long way. Just make sure you say the relevant things and not something like “Wow, I love your hair!” when the other person’s going on about a major achievement at work.

The Second Kind of Praise: This is an improvement over the first kind, and in my eyes, to be taken note of more than the first kind. The second kind of praise is when I praise you in front of you, and when we have company. I guess now you get the point. It is not very uncommon to hear praise from someone, but I guess praise of the second kind is a little more difficult to come by. I know how it feels really well, because it is actually so rare for me. I remember once, just once, when my mother had mentioned something good about me to one of her colleagues, and I was standing right next to her. And it had meant to me so much because in my family, we don’t go boasting about each other, you know. We are more the “let your work speak for yourself” types. But yes, praise of the second kind is bound to make that person love you all the more, because then, they know you mean it when you say you are proud of them. And it works so much more than just saying “I am proud of you.”

The Third Kind of Praise: This, in my eyes, is the most precious of all kinds of praise, and I swear by it’s abilities to make someone feel on top of the world. The third kind of praise is when I praise you in your absence, but amidst other company. Of course the glitch in this kind of praise is that you don’t get to know I praised you, but believe me, if ever you do, there can’t possibly be a better feeling than the one ensuing that. The best part about this kind of praise is that you simply know it is genuine. No ulterior motives in trying to impress you, or whatever. This also happens to be the most rare kind of praise, as I have found out. And here, I have to mention the person who triggered this thought in me in the first place. My dear Ji, who absolutely dotes on his wife (my sister, of course), and who is the only person I have known till date to shower her with all the three kinds of praises (the first kind I am assuming he always does). Ji and I, along with a few other friends and cousins had gone out for dinner once, (minus my sister) and it was then that a friend of theirs had called him up. I clearly remember how my Ji had told their friend just how beautiful my sister had looked the previous night, what with her new dress and shoes, and new hairdo and all. And more than that I remember the way I had felt when I heard him say that. I wished someone would praise me like that as well, someday.

It was that very night that I came up with this theory of mine. And since then I have earnestly noticed how each kind of praise works. But the best thing I learnt about them is that the whole essence lies in the genuineness. Maybe these above “kinds” is just about categorizing praise on how genuine it appears to be. Whatever be it. Please take the not-so-subtle hint. Praise people, but not only to praise them, if you know what I mean. Sometimes what the other person doesn’t know could mean so much more to them than what they do know.


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