Giving and Taking Compliments

Has anyone ever given you a compliment and you feel self-conscious, so you shoot it down? For example, someone says, “I love your shirt!” and your response is, “Oh, I all my good shirts were in the wash, I just threw this on.” The outcome of this sort of response is actually an insult to the person giving the compliment. The put down response is basically stating that they have bad taste. That’s not the intention of the response, but that’s effectively the outcome. (If you prefer video, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

If you’re not sure what to say when someone gives you a compliment the simple answer is “thank you.” That’s it. Well… maybe add a smile. 😄 There’s no need to put yourself down or the person admiring whatever feature it is that they are complimenting. Simply accept it and move on.

When you accept a compliment at it’s face value, just trust that the person meant what they said in all honesty because they took the time and effort to mention it. Just let the words make you feel good. Keep it simple. A compliment is just nice words meant to reinforce something good. It’s all good! Let it make your day.

I personally make a point of complimenting someone when I see something I deem worth mentioning. It can be something small or something big, towards someone I know, or most often complete strangers. And you know what – I always get a beaming smile in return. It can really make someone’s day that you did two things – notice them and let them know it.

We were at a restaurant recently and the lady at the table beside us had the most fantastic aqua blue strappy sandals with gold accents – although I personally wouldn’t wear them (I’m too much of a wallflower to be flashy, LOL) I thought they were the most fabulous shoes. When we got up to leave the restaurant, I took the opportunity to quickly interrupt the conversation at her table and let her know how great her shoes were. She grinned ear to ear with a thank you and both of her friends chimed in with how they agreed. It was 15 seconds of pure joy for all parties involved. And obviously memorable, I’m telling you about it.

Giving a compliment is like hitting “like” in real life. It’s the same sort of reaction that a person has. How often do we check our social media after we post something to see how many people have “liked” it. It’s a similar endorphin hit as a compliment, but a compliment in person is so much more sincere and a much bigger hit. It involves interaction with another person. And we humans are built for socializing (even us introverts!) We’re social creatures.

So, I encourage you to give compliments freely and often. For you it’s as simple as a short comment and a smile, but it could make all the difference in someone else’s day. These are intentional choices we make to reach out and build relationships, even if they are only for 15 seconds.

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