Everyone needs to receive compliments, sincere compliments. In fact, Nick will often help us remember to compliment him. He will say, “I good, I got a hair cut. You see it.” or “you like my shirt, I handsome.” And then he smiles that big Nick smile when we agree with him. Sincere compliments can assist us in validating our own opinions.
I believe that it is important to notice others and give compliments. I am not talking about comments that will increase personal vanity, but rather true statements that can create a momentary bond between the two people, regardless of whether they know one another or not.
Arden took Nick to a formal after school dance last week. You can tell by looking at the picture that Nick knew he looked great. He loves wearing his tux.
Acknowledging someone else seems to becoming a lost art. Everywhere I look, the communication of the day is quick one liners that are based on sarcasm and criticism. Sometimes when a compliment is given, it is somehow suspect, as if the recipient is thinking, “what do you want from me?”
Learning to receive a compliment can also be a challenge. We have a cultural norm to be self-deprecating and yet book stores are filled with books to help us accomplish amazing things by increasing our self confidence. These two ideas seem diametrically opposed to me.
Try this exercise. When someone is walking towards you, turn your thoughts outward. Really look at them and find something that is positive about the person. Then tell them.
If you know them, it might be something that they have done. If you don’t know them, it might be something about their appearance, their clothing or even their mood that you can acknowledge.
I notice two things happen when I do this. It elevates the other person and it shifts my thoughts from negative judgments toward positive thinking. Let me know what happens to you.
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