There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread. ~ Mother Teresa
Compliments are extremely powerful and we never know when we can change a life with a few words of appreciation. For all you know, you may have said something complimentary at the right moment, resulting in lifelong motivation.
Sadly, even though people love to receive compliments and the benefits are well-known both for the giver and receiver, people are not generous with them. What if we pledged to change that and decide to encourage one another? Still skeptical?
Here’s are reasons to practice giving compliments more:
Imagine changing the course of a person’s life by saying the positive words she needs to hear at the crucial moment! You’re practically making them believe in themselves!
- Your compliment may be the bridge between someone’s success and decision to give up
- Interact with children or a parent? Encouraging them helps them learn via positive feedback.
- Compliments are great for bonding relationships. They show you care.
- And of course, compliments are ideal as icebreakers between you and someone you want to resolve issues with. Oh yes, it involves humility and finding something worth complimenting, but isn’t it worth it to do that and move on, especially if you need a working relationship with that person?
- Compliments make you more likeable. Who doesn’t love a person who radiates positivity?
See what I mean?
Most of all, my favorite reason for complimenting is this: it helps focus on the positive. We become more tuned to the good stuff. We look for positive qualities and this automatically opens up opportunities to appreciate those we interact with!
But what stops us from complimenting more often?
It is sad that the human brain is wired to focus on negative things. We tend to give more importance to our negative experiences rather than the good ones. We can blame evolution for this. Cavemen learned to survive because of their increasing awareness of danger. Nevertheless, while helping them stay safe, it also evolved into a situation where we tend not to notice the good things. We go to a restaurant to eat. The waiter messes up our order. Of course, we notice and get mad. What about when they give great service? We just take it for granted.
Then there are people who withhold compliments because it makes them feel they’re admitting that the person they are complimenting is better than them. Isn’t that sad?
What if we decided to be more mindful? Instead of readily grouching about what went wrong, how about noticing all that’s right? We only have to look. How about letting go of that self-absorption and looking outside ourselves? Why not consciously look for the positives around us and look for opportunities to compliment?
Lets look at how to tune ourselves to giving compliments
- Observe and notice. Be more alert to opportunities to compliment.
- Don’t wait for a major event. It is okay to compliment the little things. Go ahead and admire the obvious – hey, great hairdo; cool scarf; fab shades; love the way you (fill in the blank); you have great taste in (fill in the blank)…take it away!
- Be specific, as that makes you more genuine and proves you noticed and sounds more encouraging, especially with children
- Which brings us to being sincere. Genuine compliments win people while insincere ones lack credibility
- Be direct, be open. Why mask a compliment? Ever been told your writing is surprisingly good? Instead, why not “You’re an amazing writer” What about “Considering your age, you look great” Why not “You’re looking great today”. And then there’s the universal “not bad” If you think the person doesn’t deserve a compliment, simply say nothing.
- Express yourself. Perhaps some people find it hard to compliment because they can’t find the right words, and let the moment pass. This happens a lot with people we know well.
- Compliment publicly. Carries so much more weight, don’t you think?
- If you overhear something good about someone, let them know.
- Compliment people who are not around. What a compliment to praise someone in their absence!
- Do it now. The moment you notice something nice about someone, let them know.
So, how about practicing being that person with a warm heart, one who is always ready to offer an encouraging word or something nice to say to everyone we meet? And don’t forget to accept compliments graciously!
March 1 is World Compliment Day
‘World Compliment Day’ simply addresses the basic human need for recognition and appreciation. Nobody wins commercially, but everybody gains emotionally. And therein lies its power.
March 1st is just about consciously reflecting on what someone in your area does well and letting that person know he/she is sincerely appreciated for that. It should be done through words instead of gifts. “A sincere and personal compliment costs nothing, but the impact on the recipient is huge,” says Hans Poortvliet, recognition professional and the driving force behind the annual event in the Netherlands. “Nothing stimulates more, gives more energy, makes people happier and, as far as business is concerned, increases productivity and commitment faster than sincere appreciation. So why not use it a little bit more?”