Encouragement comes from the Latin prefix “en” meaning to put into and the root “cor” meaning heart so encouragement literally means “to put into the heart.”

Therapist are often asked by clients if there might be small changes that could make an immediate difference for the better in troubled relationships. The response? The art of encouragement is believed to be the most outstanding life skill for mending unhealthy relationships.

Therapist are often asked by clients if there might be small changes that could make an immediate difference for the better in troubled relationships. The response? Encouragement is an art believed to be the most outstanding life skill for mending unhealthy relationships.

Here’s 4 ways to help you become more skilled in the art of encouragement – the art of putting words into the heart of those around you. 

  1. If someone comes to your mind-act on it. If your sister/sister of the heart is In the midst of a problem, surprise her with an encouraging text/call/email. It can make all the difference.
  2. Use encouraging words and phrases:
    • Your project is coming along nicely.
    • You work really hard.
    • I love being with you.
    • I can see that you think this is important.
    • You are so devoted to your family/goals/sport.
    • I can see how hard you are trying.
  3. Nurture the good in others. It is easy to point out the bad in a situation/person. Find the good and comment on it. Focusing on the bad is akin to feeding weeds fertilizer to help them grow. Save all that Miracle Gro for the beautiful flowers and watch them flourish.
  4. Keep it real. People know when they are being flattered which is not a sincere form of encouragement. Make it a habit to speak only the truth or the effort to encourage will fall flat and your credibility will be shot.

It requires some patience to develop this life-changing skill; because in practicing the art of encouragement, we must accept someone exactly as they are with all their mistakes and missteps. We are not interested in the outcome. We are to focus on the effort. By doing so, we build more solid relationships based on strengths and assets and not on accomplishments.

We all need encouragement so here’s an encouraging word, “Thank you!  Thank you for being our sister. Thank you for allowing us in your life to share our thoughts. We appreciate you!  Most importantly, we want to help you face your challenges with courage and strength.”