Rarely have I found anything so effective in cultivating and improving relationships, lifting my own mood, getting the best out of any experience, and generally just making life BETTER, than giving people the A-bombs of attention, appreciation, acceptance and approval. EVERYONE has something interesting about them that you don’t know about; EVERYONE hates feeling excluded and unappreciated.
The feeling of exclusion is one of the most hurtful, depressing and terrifying emotions known to humankind, for the simple reason that we’re hardwired that way. We’re tribal, social beasts - that’s how we’ve evolved and survived, and the primal drive to belong is one of the most powerfully motivating needs we have. It’s also the most devastating when it’s denied, which explains why it feels so shit when we sense that we’re being left out - it’s those primitive survival instincts putting a deep fear of exclusion and subsequent danger into us.
When we give people the A’s, we forge deeper bonds with them and make everyone involved, including ourselves, feel better. We become, to others, higher value individuals - because people will forget what you said, they’ll forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Like it or not, you DO have an effect on everyone you come into contact with. So for my money, might as well go for the win-win and make the effect a good one!