Compliments Make Us Feel Good
Have you seen those adorable dog photos that have been doing the rounds on social media lately? Yeah, you’re right – I should probably narrow that down. I’m talking about those posts where pet pooches are pictured before and immediately after they’re told they’re a good boy or good girl. Well, if you haven’t, it’s worth a quick search. Oh, okay then – here’s my favourite one 👇
Anyway, the point is, one small gesture can have a big impact; creating a ripple of positivity around us.
We’ve all experienced days where nothing seems to go right. Then, out of the blue, a kind word from someone can flip our mood entirely. Behold: the power of compliments.
The Science of Compliments
Compliments can act as catalysts for positivity in our lives. At work, sharing praise, recognition and gratitude is really important for boosting morale. In fact, neuroscientific research has found that when we’re complimented, areas in our brain associated with reward and pleasure light up – in a similar way to when we receive financial rewards. Other studies found that compliments can aid us when it comes to learning new motor skills and behaviours. Pretty cool, eh?
Showing kindness to others is a no-brainer. But here are just a few more reasons why sincere compliments are worth giving – plus some tips on how to get them right.
Reasons to Give Compliments
They Can Promote Collaboration
At the core of our existence, we all seek validation and appreciation. This inherent need forms the bedrock of successful personal and professional relationships, pushing us to collaborate and find collective solutions to challenges.
They Redirect The Focus
Any time you can break the cycle of “stinkin’ thinkin’” (yep, this is a thing) even just for a moment, you’re shifting your thoughts from all that negative self-talk and channeling your energy towards someone else – making their day (and yours) a little sunnier.
They Can Build Trust and Bonds
Everyone wants, needs and deserves recognition. A timely compliment is like saying: “Hey, I see you.” Showing value in this way can really reinforce trust and deepen our bonds with each other.
They Can Have A Snowball Effect
Kindness has a ripple effect. Your compliment has the power to inspire the recipient to pay it forward. Then that person might be inspired to do the same. And so it goes on! It’s pretty awesome to imagine the positivity that can flow through the world — from something as simple as one compliment.
Compliments Are Free
Need I say more?
Mastering the Art of Complimenting
OK, it’s obvious that there are some amazing effects of compliment-giving. But not all compliments land the same. So how can we make sure we nail it?
It might seem harmless to tell someone that their corduroys are cool, even though you actually think they’re hideous. But don’t forget, so much of what we say is communicated through our tone and our body language. Most of us can sniff out insincerity a mile off. It’s like a sixth sense. Realness is the name of the game.
In our fast-paced world, pausing to truly notice someone can be a gift in itself. It’s this attentiveness that births genuine compliments. The key to good compliment-giving is paying attention to the people around you – and all the little details. Pay attention to what you love or appreciate about the person.
Specificity is key
Broad praise, though nice to hear, can often feel impersonal. Zooming into unique attributes or actions lends your compliment weight and sincerity. Rather than just telling someone they look nice, tell that person: “You look so sharp in that blue shirt. It matches your eyes.”
Do it on the regular
In close relationships, it’s really easy to take one another for granted. So try making a conscious effort to notice all the good things about the people around us. If you get into the habit of giving compliments on the regular, you’ll start noticing all the positive stuff more often too. And that can help strengthen any relationship. Hurray!
Not everyone receives compliments in the same spirit. For some, especially those grappling with low self-esteem, direct praise might be overwhelming. This could stem from an inherent opposition to information that doesn’t fit their world view. Most of us are motivated to hold on to our self-views, even if they’re negative.
So, rather than exchanging compliments, a more subtle and impactful approach could be to simply show interest or curiosity in their lives.
Graciously Accepting Compliments
Other times, people might feel uneasy about receiving compliments because they’ve been conditioned to believe that doing so is big-headed or boastful. This, of course, isn’t true.
Receiving compliments gracefully is just as vital as delivering them carefully – even if it is just a humble “thank you.”
Compliments are potent, transformative tools, not just mere words. They can mend bridges, forge connections, and uplift our spirits. As we move through life, understanding the impact of our kind words and weaving them generously into our interactions can make the whole journey more joyful – don’t you think?
Course you do. You’re very astute 😉