Boost People’s Confidence, Not Their Ego
One of the best things that we can do to someone is boost their confidence. The world is full of negativity and giving someone a ray of hope and wings to fly is rare and precious. But how do you know whether you are genuinely encouraging someone or just boosting their ego? And how do you distinguish between the two when someone else is appreciating you?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of boosting people’s ego. We do this all the time. A lot of employees keep their bosses happy by consistently boosting their ego. A lot of us even boost God’s ego by offering him (it’s mostly “him” isn’t it?) by offering him bribes and sacrifices. What we don’t realize when we do this is that boosting people’s ego is manipulative and ultimately, selfish, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise. Boosting confidence, on the other hand, is in the interest of the person whom you are appreciating.
The best way to distinguish between boosting ego and genuine appreciation is this — A person who truly cares for you will point out the ways you can improve while the person boosting your ego will only talk about how “great” you are. You see, the person who genuinely appreciates you isn’t doing this for HIS/HER/THEIR ego boost and hence he/she/they don’t mind being a “bad” person by pointing out (in a nice and healthy way, of course) that you are not perfect. They might not do it right away, when you have just won an award, but they will remind you afterwards that it’s important to not get carried away. These are the people who keep your ego in check. People who are boosting your ego, on the other hand, won’t point out the room for your improvement (because they are ultimately praising you for their own ego) . They will not dare to call you out because that will make them look bad.
The best way to know if you are boosting someone’s confidence or boosting their ego is also the same — Do you find it difficult to say that a particular piece of work is not up to the mark when the time comes? Do you feel compelled to always praise this person to the sky?
A person who keeps his/her/their ego in check will always appreciate those who are honest with him/her/them. They will, in fact, be grateful for your feedback as it ultimately gives them a chance to grow. Sure, it’s not easy to give or receive feedback. But those who truly care for others and care for their own growth will welcome it.
Note: This article was also posted on LinkedIn.