I grew up in a household where you knew you were doing well if you weren't criticized. There was no positive reinforcement at all. I would bring home report cards with all A's across the board and my parents would look at the conduct marks, see the "occasional infraction" (which was a farce because I had never been called to task about anything--I was a goody-goody) and point it out to me.
I have found myself to be that way too. I'm working very, very hard to overcome this. It's hard! Anyway, today I saw the impact of positive and negative impacts on people while I was out and about running errands.
There were only two lanes open to enter the military installation to get to the commissary. The lines were backed up with cars all the way to the lights. Up ahead, I could see one of the guard gates running and pounding on the doors to the main gate area. Then I heard a siren. The other two lanes were blocked off and these two lanes had cars with no where to go. The one guard gate was quick thinking and had all the other guards spring into action to stop the flow of traffic leaving and diverted the ambulance that way. It never had to slow down. The guard was in my lane so when I came to her, I complimented her on her quick thinking and action. I could tell she was a bit embarrassed but pleased.
On the flip side, when I was checking my groceries out, I had a pretty slow bagger. I think he was new and was trying to get into the groove (put cold things together, meats together, etc.). Well, the ladies who were pros were grumbling the whole time in English and Korean (the Korean ladies have a pretty good monopoly on this particular job). Of course, being able to understand Korean, I knew exactly what they were saying. I was so embarrassed. I knew it was discouraging to this man, but he kept on chugging along. I thanked him with a wide smile and gave him his tip (baggers work for tip only).
So, I've to remember to use good positive words even when I'm correcting.
Thank you, God, for this timely reminder.