The Perils of Praise

December 22, 2017

What’s your reaction if I tell you that you are the sweetest, finest, brightest, most talented and beautiful person I have ever known?

You will probably have several reactions:

  1. It’s nice to be appreciated. It feels good.

  2. I’m not sure you know me very well. Or you don’t know the real me. I have lots of faults and limitations.

  3. I’ll be a little anxious when I’m around you for fear you will find evidence that your high appraisal of me was mistaken. Or I will choose easy tasks so I can appear to be successful.

This last reaction is just what Carol Dweck found in her research with children. When we tell kids how amazing they are, we make them uncomfortable. They don’t want to appear as failures so, in the future, they choose easier tasks. Praise can be disabling. {Continue Reading at Meridian}

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