Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thing I should do more: give compliments

I've been thinking a bit about compliments, thanks to a great post by Jessica at What I Wore. She asked about the best compliment you've ever received on your personal style, which led to a fun discussion in the comments.

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One thing everyone could agree on is that it is SO GREAT to receive a compliment, whether from a loved one a complete stranger (and in some ways, a compliment from a complete stranger is an even better ego boost). This got me to thinking about compliments in my life, both given and received.

I try to have fun with my wardrobe, and over the years I have collected quite a few compliments on my clothes, accessories, shoes, etc. I have a favorite ring that I wear all the time, and I get at least one comment every single wearing. I am always flattered by these kinds of compliments -- I dress for myself, but I am pleased to know that others notice.

I've felt a little more conflicted about compliments about my weight or my body. When you lose weight, it is inevitable that people will comment. Most of them are kind (and a nice reward for the hard work), but sometimes things can get a little uncomfortable. Let's face it: some people have no tact.

But all in all, I think compliments are muy bueno -- one of the great small pleasures in life.

When it comes to compliments, I think there are two important lessons to learn:

How to GIVE a compliment...
It doesn't have to be elaborate or complicated, it just has to come from the heart. A few simple words are all it takes to make someone's day and put an extra spring in their step (though if you are particularly witty or eloquent, you'll be sure to be remembered). I'm going to make an extra effort to give more compliments to people in my life, be they friend or stranger. Sincere praise is so powerful...and it is totally free!

How to RECEIVE a compliment...
For a lot of people, this is MUCH harder. We feel uncomfortable. We don't believe we deserve it. We think we aren't really that great. Guess what? We ARE.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is learn to accept a compliment. Don't deflect it, don't take the wind out of it -- just say "thank you". If you really feel like going crazy, you could elaborate: "Thanks, that means a lot!" or "Wow, that made my day!". If you protest too much, everyone feels uncomfortable. But with a simple "thanks", everyone wins!

See, compliments are easy!
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So, what do you think about compliments -- if you've given or received a good one lately, let me know!

I'll share the one I posted in the comments of the What I Wore post -- it's one that has always stuck with me in a good way:
"I was walking home to a fairly new apartment and I took a shortcut through a slightly questionable block. I was coming from a summer wedding and wearing my favorite green dress and gold heels, and I came upon a group of guys hanging around on the street corner (one of them may have been peeing against a wall, but that's not important). As I approached I expected some sort of crude or obnoxious comment, so I steeled myself and kept walking. The biggest guy looked at me and said, "Hello...I didn't know we had America's Next Top Model in the hood!"
Totally made my day. 

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