Do you want to make somebody’s day? During the times in which we live, you might even make their week or month (…or year). How? Offer them a sincere compliment. A heartfelt thank you for something they’ve said or done can make a profound difference – even in the life of a stranger. If we knew how much a kind word could change someone’s day, we’d be intent on sharing more compliments.
Compliments demonstrate respect, admiration, approval. They bring smiles. Encouragement. They strengthen relationships. They lift our spirits. They can make a long day shorter. For a compliment to be a true compliment it must be genuine. Otherwise, it’s flattery – no thanks.
If like me, on occasion you’re fortunate enough to receive a written compliment, you save it. I like to keep the note on my desk for a few days so I can re-read it a time or two…or three. Then it goes into a little folder that has become a precious treasure. I love the beautiful sentiments found in Hallmark cards, but I particularly cherish the personal notes — especially when they arrive during a tough week. And yes, I also have an e-file for electronic notes.
How do we get better at complimenting others? Glad you asked. We need to be
Intentional. First, we must decide that giving compliments is something we want to do. Then we need to look for opportunities. This means taking (or making) time to notice what’s going on around us. When we’re so busy that we aren’t paying attention to others, we miss these moments. All too often we’re preoccupied…and don’t even notice when a compliment is deserved. Or if we happen to notice, we’re too busy to take the time to express our thoughts. Or we rationalize that in the grand scheme of things our words don’t really matter. That is not true! We need a little complimentary margin in our calendars.
Authentic. Find something that resonates with you, an attribute or talent you value. When it comes to complimenting a stranger – pick a trait or action you’ve observed. Your friendly smile has brightened my day! is a good start. Or That was kind of you to open the door for that elderly person might be just the encouragement some young person needed to hear. Our genuineness – and lack thereof – is apparent.
Specific. It’s nice to say to a friend, You look great! But it’s even better when we personalize it with a detail or two. You look great! I love how blue makes your eyes sparkle! Or instead of That was a great meeting today, identify a particular detail she handled well. The meeting today was great; I took several notes on how to be a better listener.
Ready to Act. After noticing, we need to act. Verbalize your compliment or send that text, email or note. Now. Putting it off means that either it likely will never happen or it could seem less sincere later.
Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Even a small compliment goes a long way. And bonus: when you pay somebody a compliment, you may just feel better too.
We compliment you for making the time to read our blog.