Day 18: Share Every Compliment

How often do you admire someone’s appearance or attitude or accomplishments but never speak the praise to the person you admire? How often do you receive compliments that you somehow dismiss as soon as you hear them?

I’m guessing the answer is: A LOT.

What is it about compliments that make people so uncomfortable?

I first started thinking about this many years ago. At the time, I was painfully insecure and could not, for the life of me, accept a compliment. If someone said anything nice to me, I would always find a way to deny it. It went something like this:

Friend: “You look nice today.”
Me: “Oh my gosh. No I don’t. I hate what I’m wearing, but it’s all I could find. I was in a hurry this morning.”

Then, somewhere along the line, I realized how incredibly rude that was. So, even though I still refuted the kind words in my head, I learned to simply say, “Thank you.”

As time passed and I shed some of that insecurity, I actually began to mean my words of thanks. I also got better at speaking compliments to others.

Now, I think I’m pretty good about letting people know the positive things I think about them, as well as truly accepting the nice things people say to me. Most of the time.

Of course, because of this challenge, compliments were on my mind as soon as the day began, which got me thinking about all the people I love and admire and would like to acknowledge. And then I started to get overwhelmed. If I shared every nice thought that was rushing into my head, it would take me all day. And, given the timing of the kind words, it occurred to me that they might not seem sincere.

So I decided to take a different approach. If a random nice thought occurred during the day, I would share it, but I would not allow it to snowball. I know this seems a bit contradictory to the challenge, but for me, it was necessary.

Instead of having one massive compliment-crazy day, I decided it made more sense to continue this challenge every day and strive to become better at giving and receiving words of praise all the time.

I think that’s a fantastic idea, if I do say so myself.

How did your day of compliments go?

Tomorrow’s Challenge: Go to the Library
To see what else is coming up, check the 30-day Challenge List .


9 thoughts on “Day 18: Share Every Compliment

  1. I played golf today and noticed that one of guys I was playing with looked sharp in his golfing clothes. I complimented him on it. He asked for an explanation. I told him the navy trousers, the gray sweater and the touch of red where his shirt showed at the collar looked very nice. He said “Thanks” while giving me a funny look that said, “Guys don’t compliment guys on what they wear.” Then he kissed me. (Just kidding.)

    I agree that giving compliments freely should be the norm, not the exception.

  2. We had the opportunity to discuss complements and appreciations in a structured setting some time ago. It was eye opening when so many people could not think of a single thing for which they could complement or appreciate another, even their closest partner. A great way to end the day is to share a few appreciations with someone. We try to do that often. It is nice to know that someone notices the little things.

  3. Thanks Angela:). Your editing is always welcome, as are you. And to add to the day’s challenge, I appreciate the work you are doing to put this together. Thank you for the invitation to join you in the challenges. I!ve been touched in an unexpected way in the process.

  4. I got to thinking more about this on my morning walk. I had just paid some nice compliments to Molly. Why is it so easy to compliment pets and babies, but not so easy to compliment adults? I thought of your blog comment about how you had trouble accepting compliments at one time. I also thought about compliments that are taken the wrong way. If you make a compliment to the opposite sex, it might be taken as an attempt to hit on them, even if it is proper and sincere. Even worse, your partner might think you are hitting on someone else, when you are just being nice. So, there is a risk that you take when you give a compliment. It might just backfire on you. That is not to say that you shouldn’t freely render compliments, but you’d better consider the consequences first. Maybe that is part of the reason we aren’t more free with our compliments.

    • I think you’re right but I think it’s also about being vulnerable. We worry too much about what others will think and we don’t want to take a risk. As Walt said, it’s part of our conditioning. Hopefully, our conditioning will change.

  5. Right with you Tom. It is a shame that the conditioning we all receive generates distrust and suspicion to the point where a simple acknowledgement of a complement is replaced with a reaction. But then, I just read that the Rapture is scheduled for May 21, 2011. Perhaps we won’t need to worry about it any more. GOOD GRIEF!!!!! How are we gonna finish the 30 day challenge.????

  6. Just read this. If the Rapture occurred, we both missed it. Now our problem is keeping Angela on track to continue her posts.

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