When you’re confident it’s the right thing to do, what keeps you from doing it? Your answer will give you an unsettling gut check about your risk for the future.
I sat across the table from a very successful business leader at a casual lunch. He…
“I just can’t think of anything I can compliment them for.” People, who say this, probably deserve a compliment for at least trying to think of something for which to compliment another person. Most of us don’t take that time. At best, we wait until we’re bowled over by a personal quality of a person and the compliment comes to us. Maybe we tell it, and maybe we don’t.
Compliments are little gifts with an enormous impact. They cost you nothing and can change lives for the good – yours and others.
Why don’t we compliment others more?
We pay compliments for what we appreciate. In our time we are often too busy, too critical, too judgmental, or expect too much to appreciate much and thus fail to find compliments for those around us.
Insecurity and self-esteem issues can keep you from paying compliments. You probably are aware that when you tear others down the motive is sometimes to build yourself up. It’s a comparable situation with compliments. If you don’t build others up with compliments, you may feel better about yourself in some way.
Fear may keep you from paying compliments. You may be fearful that, somehow, a person will get ahead of you if you compliment them.
Your expectations can keep you from paying compliments. We want people to fit our expectations. If they don’t meet the expectations, no compliments. But, when they do things the way we want to the standard we want, we are more likely to compliment.
If you think they don’t deserve it, you won’t compliment. But I ask you, “What must a person do to deserve a compliment?” Certainly, your compliment is to have a basis and be truthful. But to what degree must a person demonstrate the quality to deserve a compliment.
Your desire to be appreciated and valued can keep you from paying compliments. If you don’t receive compliments, then you are not likely to pay them. You give what you get which is a bad approach to life.
Paying compliments, the value to others
A compliment extended to another person is an investment in them and their personhood. It helps to
Paying compliments. The value to you.
The practice of giving genuine, sincere, well-placed compliments will change the way you think and feel. As a habit, I’ve discovered that it will
If you want your compliment to matter and be the positive gift you want to give, act on the following guidelines.
What to Compliment – 58 Qualities
Of course, you can pay a person compliments for the things that will eventually go away or rot in the grave like their appearance, clothing, or possessions. And, you can pay compliments for behavior. But, generally, take care about complimenting aspects of appearance lest you be misunderstood. You do not want to be accused of sexual harassment of any kind.
Complimenting the appearance, clothing, or possessions is all OK. However, I suggest you compliment the sources of the behavior, the more enduring qualities of an individual, their character. Try complimenting people because they demonstrate one of these qualities:
If you think it, say it. (The compliment, that is.)
Most of the time, “If you think it, say it,” is not good advice. But in the case of a compliment, don’t keep it to yourself. Say it.
Give compliments even if you don’t feel like it. We may withhold deserved compliments because, though we know the person deserves it, we don’t feel like giving it. Intentionally withholding a compliment can be a way of passive-aggressively punishing the other person. So, give the compliment. Maybe an emotion will come and maybe not.
When someone wants to compliment you, do this.
“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” — Mark Twain
Some Helpful Practices and Tools to Jump-start the Compliment Habit
It may be helpful to create a compliment bank comprised of a file of compliments with notes containing the person’s name, the character quality for which you are complimenting them, and the behavior you observed. This makes sense because
The Compliment Day of the Week
To get you jump-started with the habit, designate a day of the week when you will pay compliments to 2-3 people at work and/or each person in your family.
Few, if any, compliment themselves for fear they might be arrogant or think more highly of themselves than they ought. For some, this may be true but for most, not. If you struggle with paying a compliment to yourself, you are
For each compliment you pay to another person, quietly pay one to yourself. Celebrate your character and growth in it. Pay yourself a compliment for qualities of bad character and associated behaviors you do not possess. Then give thanks for that growth and look forward to more.
20 Adjectives to Describe Behavior
25 Verbs to Use in Compliments