When was the last time you received a genuine compliment?
You know, the kind that made you gush and feel special and loved?
The dictionary says a compliment is an expression of praise, commendation or admiration.
I still remember some of my most favorite compliments:
All throughout my life, I remember my mom telling me how beautiful I am.
I also remember my high school journalism teacher telling me how my quiet, listening ear would make me a good editor of the high school paper. It built my confidence to apply for the position, which I later received.
More recently, I have loved every compliment from my husband about my cooking.
The words you speak can encourage or discourage.
With the impact of the pandemic, I’ve seen more people discouraged, depressed and down.
I know a compliment can’t treat depression and change the world. Yet, why can’t we use daily, encouraging words in a way that affirms and builds up people instead of tearing them down. Or even sadder, we hold back the compliment, and we don’t say anything at all?
In the 31-day, intentional living challenge, one of the participants mentioned how her grandparents never paid her a compliment. She recalled a time when she gifted her grandmother with something she painted, and her grandmother’s response was, “Well isn’t that something.”
It was only after my friend left the room that she overheard her comment to her grandfather about how talented my friend was. My friend recalls, “ As soon as I reentered the room, she went quiet. Ha! We had to be sneaky to hear our praises. I believe they had the perspective of wanting their children and grandchildren to be humble more than they wanted them to be confident.”
Sincere compliments given in the presence of the recipient can instill confidence and boost self-esteem, especially when they’re said to children as they are growing up.
Let’s start building each other up through a kind compliment daily, making it an intentional part of our daily living. As we encounter others, let’s look for that beautiful smile, a helpful attitude, or the positive way you were greeted at a restaurant and tell the person. There are a million things we can compliment people about. if we have the eyes to see them and we choose to take the intentional action to praise, commend or admire them.
A wonderful colleague and friend of mine who was in sales, had the most generous attitude when it came to giving compliments. Almost every person who he encountered that day, he appreciated, affirmed, complimented or thanked in some way.
It was usually a very small observance, but those compliments can be a huge “Atta girl” or “Atta boy” in someone’s life. And guess what? He was a wonderfully successful salesman, and I believe it was because he affirmed others in such a positive and genuine way. People can’t help but respond in a positive way back.
I always thought, “wow what a generous heart he has for others.” He convicted to be more liberal with my compliments instead of being stingy. Do you remember that scene in the great pumpkin Charlie Brown where Charlie Brown goes trick-or-treating with his gang of friends and he always receives a rock while the other kids receive candy?
Don’t be handing out rocks – be handing out Snickers, M&Ms, Hershey’s chocolate, Kit Kats and Skittles with your compliments.
Intentional living is a life of affirming others and acknowledging their special, unique and distinct ways of being. I challenge you to compliment a person or more a day for a month and see how it changes your life…and theirs.
Do you believe a compliment a day can change the world? Take the Intentional Living 31-Day Challenge. Several components of the challenge acknowledge the value and appreciation of others in living an intentional life.