A compliment is an expression of praise, compliment, or encouragement. Marcia Naomi Berger, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist licensed in San Rafael, California, explains that a sense of value and appreciation are basic human needs. She says, “I would define a compliment as any sincere appreciation of someone’s trait, behavior, or appearance.”
Berger added that the behavior that received praise is likely to be repeated. For example, if you tell someone that you like the way he smiled when you greeted him, most likely he will smile again when he sees you.
A compliment lets people know that you’ve noticed something about them that you like. Compliments are useful because they can help people have a better day than they already have. Compliments often cheer up a person when he has a bad day or just an ordinary day. In other words, compliments make people feel good about giving and receiving them.
Advantages of receiving a compliment
Researchers have found that receiving a compliment makes us feel good. They also found that receiving a compliment actually activates the same parts of the brain that are activated when you give a gift or a cash prize.
The same group of researchers shows that compliments can help people learn new motor skills and behavior. That’s why you hear people complimenting children and other people where they are going to act.
“You have it.
” “I know you can do it.”
“You’re good at this kind of thing. So you can do it too.”
Athletes perform best when they look at the stands and see a family member or friend with an expression of approval on their face.
Effective Ways to Make Compliments
Complimenting someone can be a good conversation starter. You’ve probably seen people in movies complimenting each other on how they dress at a dinner party or a formal meeting. It’s a way to break the ice with someone you know, or someone you’re meeting for the first time. You don’t need to meet people to congratulate them. (SeeMy personal reviews are at the end of this article.)
When you compliment someone, make it short. There is no need to ask people where they bought something or how much it cost. Just say, “Your suit looks good.”This is enough to let a person know that you noticed his new suit.
If you heard a speech that meant something to you, let the person know by saying: “I was touched by your touching speech.”
If you had a recent phone conversation with someone, make a compliment in return. You could say something like, “I was inspired by what you said when we talked last week.”
Compliments should be sincere. People can feel when you’re sincere. Pay attention, and you will find something to praise a person for without lying. There is no need to lie about something disguised as a compliment.
Compliments should be specific. Refrain from using general descriptions such as “You look good.”This can apply to all the people in the room. Say something specific and unique, for example: “You look great in that red dress you’re wearing.”It shows that you are perceptive and that the compliment is unique to this person and does not apply to others.
Learn to accept compliments
While gracefully accepting compliments is just as important as giving them, some people are uncomfortable accepting them.
When you don’t accept a compliment, it’s an indirect way of saying that a person is not telling the truth about what they are saying about you. Refusing to accept a sincere compliment is like refusing to accept a gift that someone gives you.
When someone compliments you, respond with a simple “Thank you.”This is an indirect way to congratulate the person who congratulated you. This indicates that a person has good taste.
A compliment is beneficial not only to the recipient. The giver also feels better after giving someone a compliment. When you don’t accept someone’s compliment, you deny the one who makes it the opportunity to feel good.
Believe me, all these personal testimonies are true about the compliments I received on the days when I needed them most and which I appreciated.
I was at a week-long convention. By the end of the week, I had put on all my most attractive outfits. On the fifth day, I didn’t like what I decided to wear. When I arrived at the conference center, a woman came up to me and commented: “I see we have great taste.”I thanked her and smiled, because on that particular day we were wearing the same outfits. It was God who made me understand that what I wear is appropriate. At a meeting with more than 3,000 people, this woman saw me and felt obliged to congratulate me. She did it early so that I wouldn’t worry about what she was wearing for the rest of the day. This woman made my day better.
Someone thought I was having a bad day with my hair, but I went shopping anyway. While in the store, I noticed a man following him down the aisles. I thought he was stalking me. Finally, he got close enough to compliment me on my hair. He said that he was a hairdresser and that he liked to see women with a haircut like mine. This man made my day better! In the end, it turned out to be a good day for hair.
Another time I had an unsuccessful date at a prestigious restaurant. I knew I looked good, but my date never congratulated me. When we were leaving the restaurant, a woman ran up to us and praised me for my outfit. She was wearing the same one, a different color. I didn’t get a compliment from my date, but God saw that it was appropriate for me to get a compliment from a stranger. As in other examples, this unknown woman made my day better.
So, go ahead and make someone’s day better. Make a compliment!