Clyde looked at Rufus to see if his dog impressed him. Rufus appeared unimpressed. Another duck was shot with the same procedure. After several times of fetching the duck and walking on water, Clyde could not stand it any longer.
"Say, Rufus, have you noticed anything different about my dog?" he asked. Rufus replied, "Yeah. I didn't want to hurt your feelings. Your dog can't swim, can he?"
Some people are like Rufus. They would never acknowledge our accomplishments or gifts even if we had walked on water. These people often make statements such as, "You should know I appreciate what you do. You know I love you. I should not have to tell you." We all know people who brag about never complimenting anyone as though it was a great personality virtue.
Many people do not praise because they have been manipulated or used by people who praised them. I remember one teenager who was angry with his parents because they praised him. They were shocked. The teenager told them that they were judging him and telling him who he had to be in order to get their continued praise.
There is a danger in many relationships that we take each other for granted. We assume that they know we appreciate what they do for us. The truth is that it is important for us to acknowledge what our partner, parent, child, etc do for us. We all want to know that what we do is of value to the other person. So it would be good to think of praise as acknowledging, valuing, encouraging, and saying thank you.
When our boys were growing up, Karen and I wanted our dinner time to be pleasurable. One of the after-dinner activities was to have one person be a guest of honor. Then the rest of us took turns saying one or two things we appreciated about something the guest had done.
We shouldn't have to walk on water to receive acknowledgement.