Why Bother to Give and Receive Compliments?
When was the last time you received a compliment? How did that make you feel? Incidentally, when was the last time you gave a compliment and how did it feel to bestow it? Interestingly enough, it is believed that giving and receiving a compliment produces the same results in both people, making them equally, a little happier.
The other day, I met a friend for lunch. Because of an employee shortage, there are fewer and fewer restaurants to choose from in our little town. But, we were lucky enough to find one that we both liked and that was also open for business. As our hostess seated us on the deck that overlooked a beautiful bay of blue water, I noticed we were not the only ones who’d decided to go out to lunch that day. The place was packed.
I wasn’t bothered by the amount of time it took for us to be served. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was casual and my friend and I had a pleasant visit. At the end of the meal, when the waitress brought us our check, I looked at her and said, “You know, you are a very good waitress.” Her face broke into a smile.
“It is my first day,” she said.
“Well, you are doing a great job.”
Our casual exchange of words took less than sixty seconds, but it gave us both a big return. I felt happy that I could reinforce the good effort put forth by a new waitress and the waitress appeared to feel valued by my words.
Compliments are a gift. They are a buoy to anyone’s heart. They are free and powerful too. Spoken regularly, they become easier to speak. We only have to look around a little bit to notice who is around and could benefit from a kind word.
Another thing about compliments, they beget praiseworthy actions. When someone pays attention to something I am wearing and makes a comment such as, “I really like those colors on you,” you can bet I will wear that outfit again. Not that I am fishing for another compliment, but I want to wear whatever makes me look good.
I am not a pretender, so when I give a compliment, it is genuine. Whether I am noticing the beautiful earrings a friend is wearing or the welcoming smile of the clerk sitting at the front desk of the health club, a few words that acknowledge something praiseworthy about them inevitably gets a positive response.
So why bother to give or receive a compliment? Paying tribute to someone or accepting someone else’s gift of genuine appreciation will only make happier individuals if even for a moment.