I would like to now share my views on the power of compliments. First shall we understand what a compliment is?
com·pli·ment[n. kom-pluh-muhnt; v. kom-pluh-ment]
an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration: Asincere compliment boosts one's morale.
a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard:The mayor paid him the compliment of escorting him.
compliments, a courteous greeting; good wishes; regards:He sends you his compliments.
Archaic . a gift; present.
There are two types of compliments I would like us to understand:
- Verbal compliments (see definition 1 above). This is like saying to someone "I love your shoes" or "you are beautiful" or, if there is nothing exceptional about their looks, "You are so nice, I love you." Or if their cooking is great something like “It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.” (Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice)
- Non Verbal Compliments (definition 2 above). This is just the act of doing something nice in recognition of another. This could be smiling at someone, opening a door, pulling out a chair, or, if you happen to be at a ball and are a male, it could be asking the only girl sitting out to dance, (or if you want an actually feasible example, asking someone to join in your group who you would not normally talk to). These are important because it says to the other person, and the world, that you actually care about others and not just yourself. You may not actually be saying anything nice about the other person, but just the fact that you took time to acknowledge them says something.
Now, why do I think compliments are important? Well that is easy. They are good. What? I mean, there is nothing bad about giving a compliment (unless it is sarcastically given, then it is bad). With just a simple word or a smile you can make another person's day change completely, and for the better. You have no idea what other people are feeling, unless of course you can read minds in which case please share you power with me, so why not pretend everyone is really sad and try to cheer them all up. If they are actually sad, you paying them a compliment may make their day 500% better, and if they are already happy it will just make them even happier because there is not limit to the amount of happy your body can hold (scientific fact). Not only will you brighten up the world around you, but there is in fact a selfish gain too! You may not think it, but by making others happy you too will get happy. If you are in a bad mood, and you make the attempt to smile at everyone you walk by, your mood will get better. If you don't believe me, try it. So isn't this just like a win win situation? It's kind of like drugs. Except good for you and everyone gets happy instead of kills brain cells.
And a side note. On accepting compliments. Never ever ever should you disagree with a compliment. For example, some says to you "you look beautiful today", never ever ever do you reply with "no i don't." THAT IS JUST WRONG! BAD! Even if you don't actually look very good, always reply with "thank you" and then maybe return with a compliment. There does exist one exception. If you are very witty and come up with a very funny reply, you may say that in lieu of "thank you" but only if it is VERY funny and if you know the person.
Also, don't fish for compliments. People will know what you are doing and it just annoys them.
Alright, now I have a challenge. I challenge you, all of you, to give at least 20 compliments to 20 different people a day for the next week. See how much it changes your attitude and watch how much it can cheer up others around you. I see too many scowling faces on the streets now a days. No one smiles anymore, I mean seriously I know the times are hard right now, but is it really affecting your face muscles that much? Just smile for heavens sake!!
My sister and I took this challenge about 2 years ago and now I give countless compliments every day without even noticing it.
And remember, You are beautiful, and kind, and smart, and are an excellent cook (pick one of these compliments to be you.)