A member of one of our classes told of a request made by his wife. She and a group of other women in her church were involved in a self-improvement program. She asked her husband to help her by listing six things he believed she could do to help herself become a better wife. He reported to the class, “I was surprised by such a request. Frankly, it would have been easy for me to list six things I would like to change about her—my heavens, she could have listed a thousand things she would like to change about me—but I didn’t. I said to her, ‘Let me think about it and give you an answer in the morning.’
“The next morning I got up very early and called the florist and had them send six red roses to my wife with a note saying: ‘I can’t think of six things I would like to change about you. I love you the way you are.’
“When I arrived at home that evening, who do you think greeted me at the door: That’s right. My wife! She was almost in tears. Needless to say, I was extremely glad I had not criticized her as she had requested.
“The following Sunday at church, after she had reported the results of her assignment, several women with whom she had been studying came up to me and said, ‘That was the most considerate thing I have ever heard.’ It was then I realized the power of appreciation.”
How To Win Friends & Influence People
When a study was made a few years ago on runaway wives, what do you think was discovered to be the main reason wives ran away? It was “lack of appreciation”. And I’d bet that a similar study made of runaway husbands would come out the same way. We often take our spouses so much for granted that we never let them know we appreciate them.
Sincere appreciation was one of the secrets of the first John D. Rockefeller’s success in handling men. For example, when one of his partners, Edward T. Bedford, lost a million dollars for the firm by a bad buy in South America, John D. might have criticized; but he knew Bedford had done his best, and the incident was closed. So Rockefeller found something to praise; he congratulated Bedford because he had been able to save 60 percent of the money he had invested. “That’s splendid,” said Rockefeller. “We don’t always do as well as that upstairs.”
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