Forget feeling narcissistic. Science says that encouraging our friends and family to praise our moments of awesomeness will help make us better selves. No, that’s not our egos talking
and pleading for more, more, more.
A recent behavioral study at the Harvard Business School discovered that when we’re showered with praise from our loved ones over our past moments of greatness, we perform much better at stressful problem-solving tasks. It’s called “best-self activation.”
To test the theory, researchers at the school conducted various problem-solving experiments on two groups of subjects. One group read comments from friends and family praising their past moments of greatness prior to taking part in each experiment. The other group received no praise at all. Researchers found that the group that was reminded of their “best self” moments succeeded substantially better at all of the problem-solving tasks than their praiseless counterparts.
Not only that, the praised group also performed much better in experiments testing how subjects dealt with social exclusion. They even did better in mock job interviews. Talk about a boost.
This proves that receiving praise for our past accomplishments not only makes us feel good, it helps motivate us to achieve those high standards once again.
Bring on the compliments!