I have a rule in life, compliment sincerely and compliment often.
We live in a fast paced world that never looks up. Everyone is either too busy or has their nose in some sort of electronic device. We have become self absorbed; distracted by online videos and social media. As we our eyes fixate on the beautiful bodies and scenery dancing across our screens and monitors, we fail to let them fixate on the beauty around us.
When was the last time you looked at your significant other and told them they look good? How about a perfect stranger you passed on the street? It could be something as simple as saying you like their earrings or as unique as you love how their smile lit up the room when they walked in. I used to work in a doctor’s office, coming across cancer patients, pregnant women, the elderly, and every other kind of person. It didn’t matter who they were, what they looked like, or where they were from; I always greeted them with a smile, asked them how they were, and looked for something positive about them. It wasn’t always easy, but 80% of the time I could come up with something.
With almost every compliment I gave out the reply was a look of shock followed by a shy “thank you” and a smile. You would be surprised how much easier a difficult person can be after they are complimented, especially if they aren’t used to it. As time went by, the compliments multiplied. As patients came back for returning visits they would come to my window and compliment me back. The woman in the wheelchair who usually came in complaining about the handicapped parking now came in with a smile saying how nice it was to come in here, and the mom (with two kids in tow) breathed a sigh of relief when I distracted her kids with compliments about they super hero shoes and green magic marker mustache.
One day co-worker asked me why I gave so many people compliments, and if I really meant them. I told her I didn’t always LOVE their earrings, but there is always something kind of cool about them worth mentioning. As for why I gave out so many compliments, it’s simple: you never know what someone is truly going through. they may have a picture perfect life, or they may be on their shred of hope. Either way, a compliment isn’t going to make their day any worse, the least it can do is carry on that person’s status qua. Besides, a happy person is easier to deal with than a disgruntled person.
We compliment people far to little these days. Now that I have switched jobs, there will be times when it will be two weeks between compliments. I am lucky to be a fairly confident person without a lot of stress in my life, so going a couple weeks without a compliment isn’t going to kill me, but what about that person you’ve never noticed before? How long has it been since they received a compliment?
I make it a point to compliment at least three different EVERY day, not including once a day for my kids and Steve. So, go ahead, try it. Slow down for a second and look up. Compliment someone you pass by. Tell them you like their hair, their necklace, or shirt. If they brush you off, try someone else. Try this three times every day for a week. It might not show, but you just made a positive difference in their life. Besides, there’s no better way to feel good about yourself than helping others feel good about themselves. Happy complimenting peeps! Enjoy!