A Simple Compliment


“It’s the simplest of things that have the greatest impact.” We have heard similar notions before.

A couple chilly evenings ago my fiancé and I were sitting at a local restaurant enjoying massive bowls of steaming pho. Our conversation  somehow lingered into the topic of “compliments”. He mentioned that he noticed that I tend to give out plenty of compliments throughout the day. I thought it was a bit interesting that he noticed something as minuet as that.

“Really?…I do?” I asked.

“Yea, its actually something I really like about you.” He replied.

“Huh, I guess I never really noticed that I do that.” I said.

He said, “You do. It’s nice to see that you find the goodness in people and random things.”

As our discussion deepened and he began giving me more examples of how I tend to deliver compliments, I eventually agreed with him.

“Yea, I guess I do give out plenty of compliments!” I said.

“You really do.” He added. “It’s nice, and I suppose that is partly why people are attracted to you. People like positive people.”

Now, I am not sharing this dialogue to talk about how positive I am…that is simply not the point. The point is: I want you to pay attention to the amount of compliments you give throughout the day. Are you someone who tends to give them out freely, or do you think those nice things, but for fear of rejection, sounding silly, or feeling shy, just keep them in your head?

How does it feel when you receive a compliment?

“Wow, you have an awesome smile!”

“You did a great job on that project!”

“I love that color on you!”

“You inspired me today!”

When I get even the simplest of compliments, I notice that my entire outlook on the day gets more cheerful. I personally don’t have any scientific evidence to prove this point, but the feeling is undeniable. However, there are studies that shed light on this very topic; Read more about how people preform better after receiving compliments  here.

I want to challenge you to up your compliment-giving this week. Be mindful about how you feel giving genuine, heartfelt acknowledgments of other people or things. Pay attention to their reaction, take note of the feeling you get while witnessing their reaction. I am almost certain that you will feel more connected to others and even strike up conversations with random people whom you may never have talked to otherwise. Who knows, you might even make a friend!

If we had more time, I would explain how a simple compliment given to me on an airplane eventually led to a wonderful friendship. A year later, we had gone on dozens of lunch and brunch outings and I even attended her wedding! How’s that for the power of a compliment!?

When you give a compliment, you are manifesting positivity into your life and the lives of those around you. Sound silly? Try it. If you already do so, do more.

Oh, and by the way…you look fabulous today!

  1. I love this post Sheilah, Karl is so right! I think a compliment can lead to someone instantly being more comfortable around the complimenter too.

    • Great insight, Karla! You are right, because when someone compliments me, it breaks the ice and its a disarming feeling that enters the space between myself and the complimenter. Complimenting is sort of an act of vulnerability, an olive branch, if you will. Fabulous! :)

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