Thursday, March 14, 2013


(Not to be confused with Prosophobia - the fear of progress)

I have coined a new term – “PRAISOPHOBIA”

Praisophobia is the Fear of Praise.

Praisophobia is the fear that if you praise someone then the person’s behaviour may change for the worse (or if you praise some thing then something adverse may happen).

Let me give you an example.

Twenty years ago, if you asked my wife what was the worst thing she did not like about me, she would unhesitatingly say that she hated my drinking habit.

Yes, I must confess that I indeed loved to drink.

I had my first drink after I joined the Navy in the 1970’s and I started enjoying drinking alcohol in earnest on my first ship where the wardroom bar was well stocked with the choicest varieties of alcoholic beverages – wines, spirits, liquors, liqueurs, beers – you name it and the drink was available. And drinking was quite affordable since the booze was duty free.

I sampled and tasted everything and after experiencing all varieties and types of alcoholic drinks I discovered that I liked two brands: a Blended Scotch Whisky called Chivas Regal (which I drank on board) and an Indian Dark Rum called Hercules XXX Rum (which I drank ashore). 

(We did not get duty-free liquor ashore and after developing a taste for Scotch Whisky I found the Indian Whiskies of those days quite rough, whereas Indian Dark Rum was probably the best in the world – the brands Hercules, Sea Pirate and Old Monk were good)

Hey, I am digressing, so let me get to the point.

As I told you, my wife hated my drinking.

In contrast, I loved drinking so much that I used to eagerly wait for sunset so that I could pour my first peg of the day.

(As a rule I avoided drinking in daytime since I did not enjoy it)

I drank quite regularly, almost every day, and I am sure my wife was very worried that I may become an alcoholic.

I am sure she prayed that I should stop drinking alcohol.

Probably, my drinking was the biggest problem in her life.

Then, all of a sudden, one day I stopped drinking – yes, I quit drinking alcohol forever.

This happened more than 10 years ago and since then I have remained a teetotaller.

I thought that my wife would be very happy that I had stopped drinking.

I thought that my wife would be filled with joy that her prayers had been answered and that her alcohol loving husband had turned a new leaf and was living a life of temperance and sobriety.

In fact, I thought that she would be full of praise for me. 

However, since the day I quit drinking, my wife has never praised me even once for having the resolve and willpower to free myself from the clutches of alcohol which I loved so dearly.

I thought that for an alcohol lover like me to have given up drinking was a commendable act deserving of the highest praise, especially from my wife who was most affected by my drinking habit.

Yet, my wife has never uttered a word of praise for my good deed, either in private or in public.

The reason – PRAISOPHOBIA.

My wife is afraid that if she praises me I may start drinking again.

So Dear Reader, the moral of the story is this:

If you do a praiseworthy deed and someone does not praise you, do not think that those persons are unappreciative – maybe they suffer from Praisophobia

Think about it. Do you suffer from Praisophobia? Or do you know someone who is praisophobic?

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

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A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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Vikram Waman Karve said...

The opposite of PRAISOPHOBIA is PRAISOMANIA and I am sure you have seen many such praisomaniac types - who keep praising even when it is not justified.
Vikram Karve

SSBCrack said...

Enjoyed reading it sir :)

Unknown said...

great article sir.

Raj Shetty Ex-Lt Cdr

Vc Pandey said...

Dear Vikram,I do not know how, but that is exactly my story.
I served 22 years as a commissioned officer ,during my tenure IN decorated me with NM and VSM,I continued drinking XXX,joined a private Airline ,never got BA +,
Despite Two Engine Flame out in flight and perfect handling and various other serious situations,never never got any appreciation,do not how could a Company would suffer from PRAISOPHOBIA.
Article written in simple words but very thought full and interesting.
Keep writing.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Dear VC Pandey Sir,
I fully empathize with you, Sir. I too have seen many in the navy and in the civilian world too having praisophobia - they bullshit at the first opportunity but are very reluctant to acknowledge and praise good deeds and achievements.
Thank you for your comments.
Do read my blogs and give us your views.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ SSB Crack and Raj Shetty - Thanks. I am glad you liked the post