Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around…
I was reminded the power of a compliment. I was checking out at my local grocery store, and I noticed something looked different about Debbie the clerk. That’s it, I thought, she’s wearing her hair down. I’ve known Debbie for several years, and she always wears her hair in a single pony tail, but not this morning and I noticed. I debated whether to tell her because I was afraid how I might come across, but thankfully I did it anyway.
Debbie gushed with the biggest smile and by her reaction I was struck with the probability it’s been a while since someone paid her a compliment. Flush with excitement, Debbie proceeded to tell me how she always wears her hair in a ponytail and that today she wanted to do something different. She continued on about her hair until I kindly reminded her, I needed to get my groceries bagged and be on my way.
Later that same day, while I was at work, I noticed something looked different about Julia, a co-worker. Julia was a wearing bright pink sweater that really brighten her entire appearance. I mentioned it to her, and she began to beam. “Thank you,” she said, “because I [New Boomer generation] always wear black.” She proceeded to share how she recently moved, and it was the only thing she had to wear this morning. Julia left the break room with a smile on her face.
I was struck with how we can be so preoccupied with our stuff we fail to redirect our inward energies and focus long enough to let a family member, co-worker or a grocery store clerk know hey I noticed you – who you are, what you did or how you look caught my attention, and I appreciate you.
Equally, significant is how people really don’t expect to be complimented and when the eventual compliment comes they have difficulty receiving it graciously. Years ago, I learned a response I’ve adopted since the first time I heard it – “Thank you, you are very kind.”
How to Receive a Compliment
1. Say “Thank You.” Resist the urge, to minimize the compliment or put yourself down – just say, “Thank you” and move on.
2. Smile. If you doubt the sincerity of the compliment, or you are dealing with poor self-esteem just accept it with a smile. You don’t want the complimenter to think, “Boy, that’s the last time I do that.”
3. Respond with “that’s so nice of you” or my favorite, “you’re very kind.” Not only are you receiving the compliment, but you give one back in return. Kinda like a “two for one” deal.
4. Just Agree. It’s okay to have a healthy level of self-esteem. For example, when you’re complimented on your weight loss. Don’t be afraid to say, “I know! I’m so excited! I really worked hard for it.”
We need to notice people more especially the people in our lives we take for granted and let them know they are appreciated. If you’re “compliment impaired or challenged” you can use the latest technological break through The Surrealist Compliment Generator. The next time you look longingly into the eyes of your partner you can use the generator to tell them:
You are as orange as a congeleen afro curled around the bony edges of a silver spoon expressing its innermost desires for a lime-based detergent.
I should point out offering the object of your affection a couple of drinks prior to using the generator seems to enhance it’s effectiveness.
And if you need a little pick me up during the day there’s an app for that. Please watch a one minute demonstration of Dr. Tingleton’s Miracle Compliment Generator.
Also, if your preference is for analog instead of digital, and you want to take care of complementing several people at once, you might think about something like this:
If you’ve read this far, I compliment you for being a person who is committed to being better than the person you were yesterday. I think that is awesome and truly commendable. I charge you with making it a point to compliment three people today.