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Show Appreciation

In Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People, one of the most important qualities he mentioned in getting along with people is honest and sincere appreciation. This has proven to be quite true in reality for me, from both the giving and receiving end. I have noticed people’s eagerness to help out when little things they do are remembered, and also experienced first hand the devastatingly de-motivating effects when my efforts go unnoticed.

Why Show Appreciation?

So why is appreciating people for their efforts so important? This goes back to the meaning of life and finding out what you want. People are programmed to want to exist, with their feelings guiding them towards the path of “most existence”. Some of these ways of existing include existence in other people’s memory, existence by altering history, and existence by contributing something to society. Let’s examine what messages you are sending when you appreciate someone’s efforts versus when you don’t care what they are doing.

When You Don’t Show Appreciation

When you don’t care what other people are doing, you are basically telling them that what they are doing doesn’t matter all that much to you. After all, if it did matter, you’d notice it, wouldn’t you? Since they are doing it, they obviously think it matters. Add in the fact that part of their existence is tied up in what they do, what else can they conclude but that you think they are not all that important. Obviously, if you find them unimportant, their existence in your memory is minimal. Additionally, since what they do is unimportant, you are basically telling them that they’re not really significantly affecting history either, decreasing that aspect of their existence. Along the same lines, it also implies they’re not really contributing anything to society.

When You Do Show Appreciation

Contrast that to acknowledging people’s contributions and appreciating them for their efforts. That sends a completely different message. It shows the person that what they are doing is so important that you remember every little detail. Their existence in your memory is indelible! Not only that, if you are so excited about what they are doing, it must have similar effects on some other people too. That must mean what they’re doing is creating a lot of value for some group of people and irrevocably altering history.

When To Show Appreciation

One says the other person is nothing; the other says the other person is everything. The difference? Only a few words expressing how you feel (assuming that you do feel that way).

Of course, that begs the question, what if you don’t really think some of the things that the person does is all that important? How do you show appreciation then? Well, in that case, you don’t! Remember that the appreciation has to be honest and sincere. A fake show of appreciation is just for your benefit, which doesn’t indicate to the other person they are actually important to you at all. In fact, it will probably offend him/her since if you’re not showing real appreciation, then you’re basically showing a lack of appreciation, resulting in the same feelings as those in the “When You Don’t Show Appreciation” section above.

How To Show Appreciation

So what do you do in this case? Well, you simply ignore the things that you don’t appreciate and focus on the things that you do appreciate. Did people say something nice to you? Tell them that you appreciate how nice they are. Did they do something unique that excites you? Tell them you appreciate how excited they made you feel.

Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be some gesture where you bring a ton of flowers or anything like that. All the “fluff” is just icing on the cake, but be sure to have the cake! The core of showing appreciation is to convey the message to the other person that you appreciate something they have done for you. Usually, just saying it sincerely is sufficient to convey the message.

Go ahead and thank someone for something they’ve done for you. It costs you so little, but it might mean the world to the other person!

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14 Responses to “Why You Should Show Appreciation”

  1. cybersupam on March 24th, 2008 5:11 am

    A great topic on “appreciation”…I am too a fan of Dale Carnagie, and highly impressed with this article…thanks for posting this kind of article, and it helped me a lot.

  2. Warren on March 26th, 2008 12:21 pm

    Definiaitely appreciate the support and compliment :-)

  3. on June 2nd, 2008 8:41 am

    Carnival of the Entrepreneur – June 2nd 2008…

    Welcome to the June 2, 2008 edition of the Carnival of the Entrepreneur. At the Carnival of the Entrepreneur you will find articles submitted by authors from all over the internet relating to anything associated with being an entrepreneur. Topics range…

  4. how to win friends and influence people on June 14th, 2008 11:19 am

    [...] important qualities he mentioned in getting along with people is honest and sincere appreciation. To Win Friends and Influence People Book ReviewHow to win friends and influence People, by Dale [...]

  5. #106 Carnival of Healing | We Are One World Healing on December 13th, 2008 12:54 am

    [...] I appreciate blog’s insightful article on why, when and how to show appreciation. Thanks to the author Warren [...]

  6. Amy Sherman on March 4th, 2009 5:18 pm

    When you show appreciation for what you have in your life, you are expressing gratitude and thankfulness. The most successful people in the world are successful because they recognize and appreciate their good fortune and then share it with others.

  7. Melinda Mackenzie on April 13th, 2009 1:29 pm

    This is nice. : ) It is true that if I seek out what I appreciate then I will only be genuine. There is some self preservation in knowing what I truly appreciate and life seems a lot brighter when I am looking for the positive rather then the negative.

  8. survival kits on June 20th, 2009 11:42 am

    It feels so nice to receive sincere appreciation.

  9. Nola on February 28th, 2011 7:12 pm

    I was wondering why not receiving appreciation for my self-perceived kindnesses was hurting my feelings. Thank you for your analysis.

  10. Steven Gross on May 22nd, 2012 5:33 pm

    Excellent response to a search for “Why to show appreciation”. While I had no idea that Dale Carnegie would play a role in this specific search, I am happy to see that “appreciation” is dealt with in such a fine manner!

    Thank you.


    Steven Gross

  11. Elena on August 20th, 2012 10:31 pm

    Showing appreciation can make a person’s day and at the end someone’s life! Think about positive paranting. Positivity builds a child up while negativity breaks a child down.

  12. Phoenix Raine on November 18th, 2012 5:04 am

    This was wonderfully written and expresses so well why showing appreciation is vital to healthy and happy relationships! :)

  13. Likability vs. Leadership: Which is Better for Business? - on January 9th, 2013 3:31 am

    [...] Show appreciation. [...]

  14. Likability vs. Leadership: Which is Better for Business? - AlleyWatch on April 11th, 2013 8:45 am

    [...] Show appreciation. [...]