A compliment is positive praise.  It’s really simple. Taking that tiny moment to praise someone for anything is priceless.  We are wired to focus so much more on the negative aspects of our lives.  That is the very reason that we need to double our efforts to give positive messages to every person we are able to.  This may seem to be a daunting task but it really isn’t.  Each day we come into contact with at least one human being.  That one contact can be in many forms.  We have so many forms of communication today that it is relatively simple to take a moment and give someone praise.  The expression, “If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.” has become a standard that we tell our children.  Do we really mean it?  How often do you complain about “things” in your life?  You don’t have to. You choose to.

A compliment is sincere.  Flattery is not.  Flattery is for your own personal gain whereas a compliment is for the benefit of others.  Complimenting may be unfamiliar to you so let’s take a look at the basics.

It is important that there be sincerity.  That simply means that you are noticing something beautiful about that person.  Yes, it could be things but if you really want to lift someone’s soul then notice a beautiful action.  When you notice, grab your courage and tell that person.  Watch what you did for them.  Make that compliment mean something by not being general about it.  What exactly is it that you are finding beauty in?  Did the person who bagged your groceries make sure that all of the cold things were together and that she didn’t mix the meat with your other groceries?  All of those little wonderful actions need your special attention.  It means something!  It means that you noticed.  When you notice and do make that compliment ensure that it is free of attachments.  Telling that person who bagged your groceries that she did a great job considering that it took her a little longer just negates the compliment. Just stop at the praise.  Now the greatest gift to that person is to give it, don’t expect anything in return and don’t tell anyone that you did it. 

What are the effects of a compliment in the workplace?

Most people want and need to know that they are doing good work.  Telling someone that they are appreciated is good but if you want to increase the work performance of your employees then take the time to notice.  Some companies think that recognizing people only for outstanding accomplishments is the answer.  I will tell you that this is not true!  When you have an employee that does all of the work that you give them and does it well then you want to keep them.  So share your appreciation for a job well done by taking the time to tell them that individually.  Employees don’t need you to do much.  Just stop by the desk of that data entry person that you rarely see and say thank you for doing your job so well.  Do that and you will build loyalty.

What are the effects of a compliment in adult relationships?

The effects of a compliment in adult relationships is tremendous.  We all need to know that there is someone out there who notices us.  Being noticed makes us feel good about who we are and what we say or do.  In a couple relationship it is important to do this.  Your partner doesn’t just want to hear about physical beauty (although that is a good thing).  Tell your partner what it is that you love about them often.  Tell your partner how you love their sense of humor or that you love the way they take the time to make your coffee each morning.  How about that partner who makes sure that all of the maintenance is performed for your vehicles?  What about that partner who manages to open the door for you each and every time?  Did you remember to compliment that partner on all of their gifts that made you love them in the first place?  Do it every day!

For friendships it is important that you give of your time and invest in that friendship.  That investment can be a small text when you are thinking of them to tell them how awesome they really are and how grateful you are to have such a great friend.

Adult family members still need you too!  Take the time to send a compliment to them as well!  Tell your siblings how much you love and appreciate them by saying something great about them.  Tell your parents that you love the way they laugh or the way that they are there for you even though you are grown.  What’s stopping you?

What are the effects of a compliment in parental relationships?

And now about the children.  Children need compliments even more than we do.  They need to keep their self-esteem.  I believe that children are born with a good sense of self and it is the environment that can take that sense of self from them.  Compliments are incredible motivations for learning.  Ask yourself…if someone told you that you weren’t smart enough to be a doctor what would you have believed as a child?  If you were nourished and told that you are quite the scientist when you were little then what would you believe?  There are thousands of studies about how positive encouragement affects the growth of a child.  Let me sum that up.  Lift up your child as much as possible with compliments and they will be motivated to do more.

Why is it important to know how to receive a compliment?

Now we have briefly touched on the value of complimenting.  Just as important is the ability to receive a compliment.  You are not arrogant for receiving a compliment without discounting it.  My good friend told me many years ago that when someone gives a compliment to me that the respectful thing to say is….THANK YOU.  It’s that simple.  She went on to explain to me the consequences of discounting the compliment.  First, the person complimenting you is taking the time to give you this gift from the heart.  To throw away that gift does two things.  It tells that person that their gift is not worthy and that you don’t feel worthy.  Think about that.  The last thing that I wanted to do was hurt someone else.  And, at the time, it was true that my self-worth wasn’t where it is today.  You are worthy of a compliment and they are worthy of a thank you.  Simple truth.

90 day challenge

I challenge you!  For 90 days it is your experiment with life and positive energy.  Go out into the world and within your family and start spreading compliments.  At least once a day, find a way to compliment at least one person.  Watch your world and your life change.  It is truly amazing!

Many Blessings!

Kari Petruch

The Relationship Reigniter

Text JOY to 26786 for more information or to schedule a discovery appointment!