THE ART OF ‘COMPLIMENTING ‘ !

Who doesn’t love a word of praise or a genuine gesture of appreciation…? I am sure ,we all do…Even those , who may argue otherwise , will somewhere deep inside , have a hidden desire to be complimented !

As human beings we thrive on compliments . Whether it is the way we look on a certain day , a household chore we just finished or a project we completed at work. Everyone loves a good word about their achievement , no matter how trivial it may seem to the other.

But just as much we love to get compliments , we become a little miserly when it comes to giving them. 

This applies to men and women alike. Though it is always the ‘women’ , who are  somehow considered  , by the entire world to be  more spiteful and jealous creatures , compared to their male counterparts.

I am a woman myself , and have encountered these ‘ difficulties in complimenting‘ myself. I remember an incident many years ago , while my husband was posted in Nepal . We were at dinner party ,being hosted outside in the garden. It was the peak of winters , and no matter how much we wanted to throw away our warm shawls , that were obstructing the view of our beautiful sarees , ( which , by the way were draped with great precision , after spending about an hour in front of the looking glass ! ) , we could not do so , due to the unbearable chill of the winter evening . In the battle between , the mind ( to look gorgeous ) and the body (to stay warm ) , the latter ,unfortunately won…. Just as all of us had reconciled to the cold , and decided to wrap ourselves , (to look like Egyptian mummies ! ) ,she entered….

She was the wife of another officer , who had got a little delayed. As she made her way past the crowd , I could see all heads turn to look back at this stunning beauty . When she reached our group of ladies ,all huddled around the fire , for warmth , we were left speechless……

Even as a woman , I found it difficult to take my eyes off her….I didn’t want to think about the menI was about to express , my admiration in words ,when my womanly vanity ,stopped me and I refrained.

After about 5 minutes , of a silent argument with my own ego , I won. I walked up to her , and said  ‘Oh dear…you look stunning tonight...!’

And then , as an afterthought added , But I think you could use a shawl…..It is very cold today ! ( well , whether the latter comment was out of genuine concern or something else……is for you to figure ! )

Today, things are a little different. I no longer find it so difficult to compliment someone , if I genuinely appreciate their dress , food ,work  etc

Learning to appreciate others , and laud their achievements , is I think a sign of maturity and a big step towards personal growth.

When you realize that a kind word from you can make someone’s day and motivate them to do better , It is easier to compliment.

But complimenting and flattery are two different things. In today’s world of social networking and selfies , It becomes a little difficult , to  separate the good ,from the bad and the genuine , from the fake..So much so that , I tend to take every compliment I receive , with a pinch of salt. 

To compliment is not synonymous with ‘flattery’ in any way. A compliment is a genuine ,well meaning ,word of praise , given in recognition of someone’s efforts . Whereas flattery , is ill meant , and fake , done solely for the person’s own selfish gain .

Complimenting , like charity ,begins at home . It doesn’t need too much of an effort , just a little of your time …

If you are confident of your worth , and have no insecurities , complimenting will come easy to you . By appreciating or admiring someone , you are in no way belittling yourself ..In fact ,  you are  only proving to yourself and others that , you are happy with your life , the way you look , the things you do , so much so that ,you are willing to spread that happiness by making others realize their worth .

I cannot describe in words ,the sense of satisfaction one gets ,when you know that your words have served to build somebody’s self esteem and encouraged them to improve their life further !

Here are a few tips , you would want to follow…:)

  • NEVER JUDGE ANOTHER PERSON BEFORE YOU KNOW THEM TOO WELL
  • DON’T LOOK TO CRITICIZE , BE MORE POSITIVE IN YOU APPROACH TO OTHERS
  • HIGHLIGHT THE POSITIVES OF A PERSON AND ADVISE THEM ON THEIR WEAKNESSES LATER

  • WHEN YOU FEEL GENUINE APPRECIATION FOR A PERSON , SAY IT IMMEDIATELY . DON’T WAIT !
  • ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT , BY COMPLIMENTING SOMEONE , YOUR WORTH DOESN’T DECREASE…
  • DON’T BE FAKE . IT WILL NOT HELP THE OTHER PERSON GROW IN ANYWAY !
  • IF SOMEONE DOES WELL IN YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE , COMPLIMENT AND GUIDE THEM . SOMETIMES , WE CAN LEARN A LOT FROM AMATEURS TOO
  • LIFE IS LEARNING. 
  • LIFE IS SHORT. PRAISE WHEN YOU HAVE TO , YOU MAY NOT GET A SECOND CHANCE.
  • WHILE COMPLIMENTING ,TRY TO BE MORE SPECIFIC RATHER THAN GENERAL. AN HONEST FEEDBACK HELPS TO GROW !

So the next time , somebody does something good or turns up well for an event , don’t forget to compliment..! For you never know , how much they may value your appreciation , and it maybe all that they have ! …………

‘I will be generous with my love today.

I will sprinkle compliments

and uplifting words where ever I go.

I will do this knowing that my words

are like seeds , and when they fall on fertile soil

a reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater’

Dr Steve Maraboli

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