"Your blog always provokes thought, Dr. Deb." "Coffeeyoghurt, you always give me a new spin on things". "Health Skills, your blog offers such useful clinical skills". I could go on complementing many of my deserving blogger pals but this is enough to illustrate the point.
That's right. It's National Compliments Day.
Most of us can feel a little uneasy about giving and receiving compliments. On giving, we might worry about how the other person might respond. On the receiving end, we might start thinking about the motives underlying the compliment. Giving and receiving compliments can be a communication minefield!
However, both giving and receiving a compliment can increase a sense of positivity and enhance self-esteem.
Giving a compliment
There are a number of things to bear in mind:
Be sincere A fake compliment usually stands out like the proverbial sore thumb. I certainly didn't buy it when Practical Man told me 'you look like Heidi Klum in that bikini'. Hmm.
Be specific "That's a great haircut" carries more impact than the simple "You look good". It demonstrates the complement giver is really paying attention.
Back up your compliment It doesn't hurt to expand the compliment by adding a little detail, thus reinforcing your belief in the compliment. "That's a great haircuit, it really frames your face."
Be selective Avoid complimenting on things that the other person really has little control over. Avoid complimenting on things that may have been complimented on frequently. If a compliment is expected, it has much less impact. Try to find something really unique about the person.
Receiving a compliment
How many of us are guilty of discounting a compliment? For example, I just got a couple of papers published and what did I say in response to compliments about that? I said, "ah, but they're only review papers". Discounting a compliment in that way immediately sucks out the positivity and really deflates the opinion of the compliment giver.
Think of a compliment as a gift. Accept with a smile and a thank you.
To read more about compliment giving and receiving, read the Psychology Today online article below.
The art of the compliment. Psychology Today