I’m going to suggest you test it, starting today. Compliment someone on something they do well.
Drop a compliment into your conversation today and watch your relationships shift into a more positive direction.
It’s a radical notion. But trust me, you’ll be surprised at the reactions.
Let’s face it, we live in a negative world in so many ways.
You’re watching Channel 3 with your favorite program and there is a teaser for the news: “Bridge collapses. News at 11:00.”
You don’t hear: “Stephanie passed her driving test!”
Bad news gets ratings for TV news. But you can make friends by becoming your own “good news reporter.”
The benefits are great…physical and emotional health for a start. And studies show that giving and receiving compliments affect the immune system and help with insomnia.
What’s not to like, right?
Kindness is it’s own reward
Or so the saying goes. And according to Christine Carter, PhD, those who are kind, live longer.
And because I like feeling great in life I’m going to share some of my secrets about compliments.
Listen when others tell you their exciting “news.” Then speak up. “Congratulations!”
Be as ready to compliment as you are to criticize and find fault.
You’ll have a lot more fun with your day and just maybe you won’t come home exhausted because you’ve only been dealing with negativity.
Try giving compliments wherever you are
How many times have you gone out to a restaurant and had to complain about the quality of the food or service? Sure, it happens.
But what about when you have really good service or great food? Ask to speak with the manager.
The manager comes over, perhaps a bit nervously, and then you surprise him or her with a compliment.
It will take a moment to sink in because this kind of feedback is rare. Suddenly, his or her face lights up!
You have certainly made a hit with the manager and added to your own enjoyment of the whole meal. (BTW, don’t be surprised it you’re offered a free dessert!)
When you express yourself positively, everyone benefits.
Not only does it show that you care about and honor someone else, but it affirms positive behavior.
It lifts us all up.
Spread a little sunshine
Compliments feel good. And so do smiles…and you get smiles in return when you give genuine compliments to people.
Taking time to be kind and seek out ways to compliment can nurture any relationship. It can even help heal certain relationships that “need work.”
I have even started being proactive with each of my own children after school.
Without warning, I will ask: “What did you do today that you’re proud of?”
Then I listen to the response. And I compliment the action.
Compliments can make difficult situations easier
Just get in the habit of looking for things that people do that you can compliment them for.
And ask leading questions to find out about someone else’s achievements in life.
You can also use a compliment to diffuse “tricky situations,” as my friend calls various relationship issues.
Small errors on the job.
A careless, thoughtless comment that needs to be addressed.
You can build a pattern of pivoting your perspective by finding the silver lining in all situations in life.
Try to find a compliment to begin the conversation, then gently ease into making your point.
Be an encourager
For me personally, finding and making compliments is an essential task daily.
Now, admittedly it does take some practice.
And you might be shy or timid, or just not used to expressing your emotions publicly.
But once you get the hang of it, you won’t be able to hold yourself back.
You’ll be expressing your genuine appreciation to a coworker, a boss, a waiter, a store clerk, or even your spouse, your children, and your mother-in-law.
So, I hope I have convinced you to look for situations where you can offer a sincere compliment.
It works with all people, all ages, and in all situations.
Highlighting someone’s efforts is not only encouraging but inspiring to us all. Kindness through compliments can have a ripple effect.
Spreading good cheer is contagious. Why not give it a try?
Give a compliment today – and see whether you get a smile back in return.
And if that isn’t enough. Think of being surrounded by all those happy people because you had something kind to say. Pretty soon you’ll be surrounded by a happy life.
It’s a win/win.