Carlie loved her job and did it well. In fact she took pride in the quality of her work and basked in any praise she received from her co-workers. Carlie’s boss, Laurel, also appreciated Carlie’s work but seldom gave praise. Instead she gave subtle evidence of her approval by giving Carlie special little perks. Carlie was raised on praise and learned to expect it and when Laurel didn’t openly praise her Carlie interpreted that as meaning that Laurel did not approve of her work. In fact, Carlie decided that Laurel didn’t respect or like her. Otherwise, Carlie thought, she would be showing her appreciation more. Carlie went into a depression and began to consider quitting her job. One day Carlie put out an extra special effort in an attempt to get Laurel’s approval. When Laurel simply smiled and nodded Carlie was devastated. She decided that she would quit her job but first let Laurel know how hard she had tried to please her without any confirmation from her. So Carlie approached Laurel with a lump in her throat, tears already forming in her eyes. But to Carlie’s surprise Laurel began the conversation by telling Carlie that she had so much appreciated Carlie’s work ethic that she was promoting her and giving her a raise. Carlie was stunned. “I thought you didn’t like my work. You never said a word!” Laurel said, “In my family we were given false praise so I learned never to trust praise. I decided never to over do it. Did you not know how much I appreciate you?” In truth we never really know what another person is thinking. Sometimes it helps to ask before we jump to false conclusions.