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Ten Ways to Build People Up

written by: Glen McKenzie

@justabitfurther

 

"Your words have the power to hurt or heal. Choose to be an encourager, the world already has plenty of discouragers."

Are you an encourager or more of a discourager?

For most of us, that’s an exceedingly strange question to get asked right off the top. Not too surprising though, I’m pretty sure that I know the answer.

All of us would surely reply, "Oh yes, I am totally an encourager."

Because saying on the other hand, "You know what, I hate to mention this, but I really am a discourager” would make the person you said that to, run away as far and fast as they possibly could.

What if we were to examine "encourage and discourage" as some sort of percentage. Are you 50/50? Maybe it's 25 percent discourage and 75 percent encourage? Perhaps it's the other way around?

Perhaps you take more of a neutral stance about it, being neither encouraging or discouraging. Sort of middle of the road and playing it safe. The reality is that most of us are at times both “encouragers and discouragers” to those around us from time to time.

Most people in their lifetime and perhaps even in the past few moments have said something and as soon as those words left their mouth, they were desperately trying to shove them back in before the person on the receiving end heard them.

Words, actions and how we use them can be so powerful. The strange thing is, words as they sit idly in a dictionary on a shelf, don't do much of anything.

But, when we take those words out of the dictionary and start to combine them into sentences and phrases, the results can and have changed the course of human history.

Yes, words and actions are powerful.

The words and phrases we direct to those around us can either build people up and esteem who they are or they can tear people down faster than a wrecking ball at a demolition site.

Not sure why, but unfortunately I find that there aren't many "word encouragers" or just plain "encouragers" out there. You know, those friends, family, and co-workers who use their words and actions to encourage others and build people up.

What I do find most are those and likely they don't even realize they are doing it, but their words and actions have the most discouraging and negative tone to them.

The crazy world we exist in today is for many "all about me” which is always self-centered, self-serving and self-obsessed. Instead of trying to build themselves up, many find it easier to tear others down to their level.

That is so sad at many different levels.

With each moment that passes by, you can almost be guaranteed of negative comments being said by someone around us and most certainly with each new sound-bite that gets broadcast and splashed across our media screens.

We desperately need more encouragers.

"Encouragement is like oxygen to the human spirit. Don't forget you're carrying someone else's air. Encourage them; help them breathe

Not coming as any great shock to most of us, but we were created to be in a community, in other words, created as relational beings. And because we are relational, whether we like it or not, we interact on a daily or certainly a frequent basis with those who truly mean and matter something to us in our lives.

As such, how can we then be a fountainhead of encouragement to our friends, family, and loved ones today?

 

10 WAYS

Here are ten relatively simple ways we can use both words and our actions towards others to build them up:

Hold Others Up - Try to regard others as special and as well have respect and positive thoughts regarding those in your circles of influence, such as family, friends, and co-workers. As difficult as doing this may be.

Think Before Speaking - There is an old saying, "We all have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion." Use appropriate words. Maybe you need to start with praise instead of first hitting people with a verbal hammer.

Be Encouraging - Encouragement at its basic level is one's hope in the future expressed in words and action. Encouragement like many things can be contagious.

Forgive - When others make a mistake, be quick to forgive and forget. Don't be the person who keeps that "little gem of the mistake" in their back pocket to spring out on someone at a later date. Forgive; forget; let it go.

Be Understanding - Much like point number 2, it takes a skill to understand what someone is actually telling you. Be an active listener; ask questions to get further insights; accept what the person across from you is sharing; finally, answer them without condemnation. Sometimes the best answer is no answer at all - just listen.

No More Gossip - This one seems simple enough. Remember, gossip always causes hurt that is unnecessary.

Knowledge - Don't be afraid to share knowledge. Sharing knowledge helps us all to learn, grow, discover and understand new things.

Humble - Easy to say; often tough to be. Humility and maturity go together. When we have a humble spirit, we're more likely to build others up. When we are not "quite so humble and thus less mature", our tendency is not to build others up, but unfortunately to tear them down to our level. So, come on now, humility is a good thing.

Be Positive - When we cultivate and exhibit a positive view of life, it becomes infectious. This "infection" allows or gives the opportunity for those around us to be open for better things to come.

Love - Points 1 through 9 only work when love is the key element in the equation. Love and care for others as you want to be cared for. Build up those around you like you would desire to be inspired and built up.

 

Are you an "encourager" or a "discourager"?

What things do you do or say that encourage or build up those around you?

Perhaps right this very moment might be the time to swing the pendulum more towards encourage versus discouraging.

"Your words have the power to hurt or heal. Choose to be an encourager, the world already has plenty of discouragers."

Glen McKenzie

Glen McKenzie

A +50-year-old(although very young at heart) hiker; canoe tripper; adventurer and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys craft beer.

Hiking, canoe tripping as well as other outdoor adventure activities, can be seen as a metaphor for living. Both are journey’s filled with scores of good and not so good steps. Highs and lows; successes and failures.

Over the years, have realized that spending time in the outdoors pursuing whatever type of outdoor activity you choose opens up a wonderful and life-changing array of lessons on living and ourselves if, we are willing to stop, observe and listen.

Come and join me.
Glen McKenzie
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