NLP practitioners often praise others. Sometimes they think that praise is positive feedback. But there is no positive feedback, as all feedback is negative. One can present feedback through strategies that combine negative feedback with praise. For instance in the hamburger method of feedback or two stars and a wish.

What is praising? Praise and gratitude on the occasions of harvest, good weather, victory, weddings, peace – all these festivals require a subject towards which the feeling is discharged. One wants everything good that happens to one to have been done to one, one wants the doer. The same contemplating a work of art: the piece itself is not enough, its maker is praised. – What, then, is praising? A kind of settling up in respect of benefits received, a giving in return, a demonstration of our power – for the praiser affirms, judges, estimates, passes sentence: he grants himself the right to be able to affirm, to be able to mete out honor … The heightened feeling of happiness and life is also a heightened feeling of power: it is out of this that man praises (- out of this he invents and seeks a doer, a ‘subject’ -) Gratitude as the good revenge, most strictly required and practiced where equality and pride must both be maintained, where revenge is practiced best.

Notebook 9, autumn 1887 paragraph 79

In Applause. — In applause there is always some kind of noise: even in self-applause.

Gay Science paragraph 201

Against those who praise. — A : “One is only praised by one’s equals!” B : “Yes! And he who praises says : “You are my equal!”

Gay Science paragraph 190


One of the basic NLP presuppositions is: “The ability to change the process by which we experience reality is more often valuable than changing the content of our experience of reality.”

The twofold struggle against an ill. – When we are assailed by an ill we can dispose of it either by getting rid of its cause or by changing the effect it produces on our sensibilities: that is to say by reinterpreting the ill into a good whose good effects will perhaps be perceptible only later. Religion and art (and metaphysical philosophy too) endeavor to bring about a change of sensibility, partly through changing our judgment as to the nature of our experiences (for example with the aid of the proposition: ‘whom God loveth he chastiseth’), partly through awakening the ability to take pleasure in pain, in emotion in general (from which the art of tragedy takes its starting-point). The more a man inclines towards reinterpretation, the less attention he will give to the cause of the ill and to doing away with it; the momentary amelioration and narcoticizing, such as is normally employed for example in a case of toothache, suffices him in the case of more serious sufferings too. The more the domination of the religions and all the arts of narcosis declines, the stricter attention men pay to the actual abolition of the ill: which is, to be sure, a bad lookout for the writers of tragedies – for there is less and less material for tragedy, because the realm of inexorable, implacable destiny is growing narrower and narrower – but an even worse one for the priests: for these have hitherto lived on the narcoticizing of human ills.

Human, All Too Human book 1, paragraph 108