Think back to the last time you complimented a child. Do you remember how their eyes lit up?
Think back to the last time someone gave you a compliment that made you feel this way. How long ago was that?
Learning to give sincere and constructive compliments is a small change that has a huge impact. It’s something everyone can do and doesn’t cost a dime.
Why Focus on Compliments
It can be difficult to recognize our own super powers (greatest strengths). They’re so normal to us that we assume everyone can do it. By telling someone how their super power has helped you, you help them to share their best talents and abilities with the world.
Compliments create positive change in our world by spreading positive vibes. When you compliment someone, they feel good. When they feel good, they share more of their greatness. These feelings create an unstoppable ripple effect.
Believe it or not, complimenting others will help you feel happier too. Studies show that true happiness isn’t found in more money or more stuff. True happiness comes from serving others and helping them succeed. Sharing compliments is a win-win.
Make Them Sincere and Constructive
Do you feel like sometimes people just say things to be nice? I do. I hate to admit it, but I catch myself in the act from time to time. That lack of sincerity has caused compliments to lose value.
The next time you give a compliment, consider how you can make it sincere and constructive. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. People are smart and they see through it.
Learn to make your compliments constructive by offering valuable details. For example, the dinner you made was excellent. I loved how roasting the brussel sprouts provided different textures and flavors. I thought the five spice powder on the sweet potatoes was perfect. It complimented the natural flavor but it wasn’t strong enough to recognize.
Easy, right? Just be honest and generous.
Get Over the Awkward
Offering a sincere compliment might feel uncomfortable at first. There have been many times I’ve wanted to compliment someone, but didn’t want to impose or look like an idiot. If you want to ignite change you are going to bite the bullet. It will be worth it. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll find that giving compliments is actually fun.
Conversely, you may feel little awkward on the receiving end. Learning to accept compliments with grace is simple, just say thank you.
You can use compliments as an opportunity to learn more about your unique skills and abilities. Ask the giver, what did you like about it? Be careful not to make the conversation all about you. The giver likely has a complementary quality that you admire, this is a good opportunity to share that.
A few years ago I was working on a project with a girl I just met. I am very detailed and I need to be careful not to sabotage my progress with perfectionism. On the other hand, she was very decisive and quick. I was amazed at how fast she could create things.
Amazed, I kept complimenting her work. The fourth time, she told me it was kind of weird. That led to a conversation about how we don’t compliment others enough and why I think it’s important. Those simple compliments led to a meaningful conversation and friendship.
Get Comfortable with Compliments
There is nothing like a compliment to make you feel like your effort has value. If you want to get more compliments, start giving them. The happiness you create will ripple through the lives of many and ignite change.