The Positive Effect of Positive Feedback

I’ve recently gotten hooked, and I mean HOOKED, on “Parks and Recreation”. I know, I’m super late to this party. A few weeks ago, I got stood-up for a date, and there was a marathon on the ‘ol TV. After one episode, I was in for the whole experience.

A lot of people absolutely love this show, so my new obsession is not any big deal, but it kicked open some fond memories of my father.

I discovered quickly that I am a Leslie Knope to the core. Binder obsession and all. My father was Ron Swanson with a full beard instead of a mustache. The similarities are astounding. Their relationship as “work proximity associates” is, of course, much more than that. Ron is very much a father-figure to Leslie. I worked in my father’s dental practice for a number of years. I see so much of our relationship in theirs.

My Dad and my Daughter.

What the heck does this have to do with positive feedback?

Well, I lost my father to Leukemia almost five years ago. When I lost him, I lost my biggest cheerleader. Since I could remember, my Dad was always there with positive feedback. Get an “A” on a test; get an enthusiastic “Well, All Right!!!” from Dad. You get what I’m saying here.

Since losing him and his positive reactions to the cool stuff I do, well, when I do something cool, it just doesn’t have the same “zing” it used to. I really miss it. However, I do keep what he would say and how he would react in the back of my mind when I do the cool thing. That does help.

I’ve kept his rather positive spirit and habit of positive feedback alive in raising my daughter. I make sure that I am her head cheerleader in life as well. I also make sure she knows what her Grandpa would think of her accomplishments.

In doing this, I now know why he was so into that positive feedback. It has a positive impact on the giver as well as the receiver. This great reciprocal energy is such a gift! That is why I do my best to “like” the photos on Instagram, give a nice comment on a Facebook post. The person took the time to let you into their lives for a moment for a reason. Give them some positive feedback and reap those benefits!

There is science to back this up as well. The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines the Positive Feedback Loop as: “A process in which a change from the normal range of function elicits a response that amplifies or enhances that change.” So, if someone wonders why you are so chipper on Facebook, just lay this scientific definition on them. Boom!

We CAN be positive!

I can’t have my Dad back, but I can regain the great feeling that his positive feedback gave me by passing on my own positive energy and comments on to others. In this day and age, I think we could all use a little bit more of this. And, it’s science.

Kim Henderson McAndrew is a mom, cosplayer, blogger for, model, warrior for body confidence and positivity, unicorn believer and a huge nerd.

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