TED Conversations

Elizabeth Spitzer

Expressive Ideas, LLC

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What impact do you imagine if positive recognition and appreciation were expressed in the ~home~ in a public way so others could see?

Positive recognition affirms us. In a family, where we come from - what impact do you imagine positive words of recognition and appreciation for: the efforts we make, things we do, or who we are, can have on a family, an individual, and/or a child?

IF you feel like taking this one step more ... assuming you have concluded that it would be a good impact, how do you imagine it would affect the future of that person?

Is positive recognition and appreciation a powerful thing to you?


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    Feb 1 2013: It's really interesting that this idea of positive = good and negative = bad is so strong. In other times and cultures it has been suggested 'that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger' and other philosophies and cultures all seem to suggest 'personal growth and wisdom' come from finding some way to cope with loss and grief. So I would like to offer the following paradigm (hope that's the right word). When you are a teenager, you have 15 or 16 years of life experience to look at. Let's say life expectancy is now eighty or ninety years. A teenager who has had loads of loss and grief generally tends to be quite angry which manifests as violence or depression. Making a bit of a hash of this with these overgeneralisations but trying to make a point about positive psychology. The 'glass half full' mentality is being discussed here I believe. As we age, we meet so many challenges on the way. A teenager who has received quite a bit of positive recognition is actually potentially less resilient when the challenges arise. Perhaps it is more about the support structures people are able to build (or not) that enriches or impoverishes a life. There is an interesting talk on women's midlife crises here on TED under Barbara Striesand's choice of talks. Am currently looking at ideas of family constellations and wonder if you are familiar with the ideas of Transactional Analysis (Eric Berne) and the idea of ego-strokes. To chuck something else into the mix have you read Petrushka Clarkson's ideas about relationships in her Five Relations Model. So to conclude yes relationships are important, but not just positive or negative, more who, what, where and when and what is going on in the wider community at the time.
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      Feb 3 2013: Hi Elizabeth,
      Yep I have read Petrushka Clarkson. :-) However, I have not heard of Transactional Analysis. I will have to look into that.

      I enjoy reading your insights. Thank you for sharing. :-)

      I have to think about your comment, "A teenager who has received quite a bit of positive recognition is actually potentially less resilient when the challenges arise." Actually, I think for me I will have to do some research and pose some questions to those that I know who work with foster youth and do counseling. The part of me, that sees the better side of things, is leaning toward the thought that being able to look at life with a positive outlook, through nurturing and self-teaching, may be more resilient in the long run.

      However, I could be mistaken. :-) Or, I could be right. Funny thing about people, we are such a kaleidscope!
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        Feb 3 2013: So very true Elizabeth, we are all a kaleidoscope. It's what makes us so rich as individual people. I am so lucky to live in London. I have access to a 92 year old who fought in WW2. My son is 16. I have always been keen to notice cultural difference and diversity because I am a cultural hybrid. Problem is, words are so difficult at times. So I am working on this theme of 'seasonality' as applied to people. As a middle aged woman with a certain amount of education and lived experience just happen to be in the right place at the right time and seeing a vast amount of social change happening very quickly. So yes I do agree fostering a positive mindset in the formative years is definately an asset in the long run but as you point out it is really complex. So love the chance to speak to people on TED. The field of psychology you might like to look at is 'Gestalt' - there are now upwards of 300 different psychology 'strands' and I found Clarkson the most effect way at the moment to form a framework to reflect on relationships. Berne is older but his ideas still echo very loudly in the cultural products of the USA by which I mean marketing and business strategies. Am aware of a tradition where the mother of a home is celebrated by her family once a week. Not going into further details here. Am originally from N.Z. Did you know N.Z. was the first country to have female sufferage i.e. the vote. Partly because so many women left the U.K, at that time to settle in NZ and took their ideas with them and were able to action them. Meeting some lovely minds on TED so please keep exploring your ideas.

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