I'm a sucker for compliments. And not in the way you might think... although I do like receiving compliments as well. ;) I love to shower OTHER people with compliments. It's actually one of my favorite things to do. I am a firm believer that people do not genuinely notice other people enough. It takes one sentence to make someone's whole day. I mean, how awesome is that?
When Andrew and I first started dating he began to notice a trend. Whenever we met someone new I would always say "I love your shoes!" or "You have incredible hair! I would love to have curls like that" etc... He didn't say anything until one day we went out to eat and the waitress was wearing a killer pair of earrings. I complimented her on them before ordering my salad. Once the waitress was gone Andrew said (I'll never forget it!) "Did you really like her earrings? You always compliment people. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice thing to do... I am just curious if you really MEAN it." Huh... It had never occurred to me that someone might not take my compliments as sincere. And that is when I realized that this practice was something I needed to share with people. Once I explained it to Andrew he clearly saw the light. To me, it's life changing. I know, that sounds dramatic, but it alters the way you think as well as positively affecting others.
It only takes a moment to compliment someone, but the effects can last much longer. - Tweet it!
My complimenting practice works in two parts.
Part 1: How to Compliment Someone Effortlessly
When you see someone (whether they are an old friend or meeting someone for the first time) take a moment to study them. Not just what they are wearing but also anything else that stands out to you. This will also help with remembering new people. Chances are, if you are looking for it, you will see at least one thing you like about the other person's appearance.
What a wonderful way to look at life. Always looking for the beautiful attributes in someone will change the way you view EVERYTHING. Instead of being judgmental and critical, we are being encouraging and uplifting. There is something really special about acknowledging the best in a person. Their eyes instantly light up and they start walking taller. I have to say, I just love making people feel good. That being said, there is a Part Two to this complimenting business.
Part 2: How to Accept a Compliment With Ease
Ladies, what is the deal with receiving compliments? Why are we so quick to tell other people they look great but not see it in ourselves? Almost every woman I know will say something negative in the middle of someone complimenting her. We are the queen of adding "BUT'S" into everything. "This dress looks good on me BUT my butt is still bigger than I'd like." "My hair looks good today BUT it looked terrible yesterday. "My skin looks good now, BUT I'm sure it won't last once I sweat outside."
It's not just our bodies either. We also put down our clothes. "I don't even like this sweater, BUT it was cheap." "I love these shoes, BUT they hurt really bad and are losing their sole." This negativity is ridiculous! We gotta stop! It's totally contagious too. Once one friend starts, it's all down hill from there! What's even crazier is that when someone just says "Thank you." They are perceived as being cocky and self absorbed. Can we all just agree that not being negative about our appearance is a good thing. That if we like ourselves and what we are wearing we can say so without feeling judgment from other people?
So, I'd like to try a little experiment. I'd like you to work on complimenting and receiving compliments for the next week. Let's start with something simple so you can see the results quickly. All you need to do is:
1) Compliment one person a day. That's it. Find one person, and find something you like about them. It may seem easy, because it is! But, that doesn't mean that it doesn't take focus and effort to accomplish it.
2) Work on accepting a compliment and then ZIP IT UP. That's right. After someone gives you a compliment, say "Thank you!" or something along those lines. But then refrain from saying something negative to counteract it. This will be harder than you expect. So worth it to start making this a habit now!
In the comments section below, let me know how this practice worked for you. Did it make you realize something new? Change your perspective. Were you able to receive a compliment more easily? If so, how did it make you feel? Dying to know!
Photography: Melanie Duerkopp Photography
Hair and Makeup - Melissa Hoffmann