How well do you take compliments? Do you often give compliments to other people?
And I’m not talking about flattery. Nor am I talking about brown-nosing. I’m talking about genuine, sincere appreciation for the people around you.
But it’s not something we’re used to, is it? When we’re infants and toddlers, the people around us celebrate every milestone — every smile, every tooth, our first steps. But as we get older, it happens less frequently. More and more is expected of us, and we get caught up in the day to day.
Reasons for not communicating appreciation include: habit, focus on other things, taking people for granted, comfort level, lack of skill at doing so, and hesitation for fear of being misinterpreted.
Dale Carnegie says, “Nothing else so inspires and heartens people as words of appreciation. You and I may soon forget the words of encouragement and appreciation that we utter now, but the person to whom we have spoken them may treasure them and repeat them to themselves over a lifetime.”
Mr. Carnegie encourages us to focus on personal strengths, as opposed to physical attributes, and to back up our statements with evidence. Evidence gives our statement credibility and believability, so people know your observations about them are sincere.
If you receive sincere appreciation, accept it. Say “thank you” honestly and sincerely. Do not try to deflect the compliment.
Of course, this all sounds like common sense, but it’s not always common practice. So today, I’m throwing down a challenge to you, reader. Take one minute out of your day to offer sincere appreciation — whether it’s your co-worker, your boss, or your mom, focus on an achievement or personal trait of theirs that you admire.
Then, come back to this post and let us know how the person reacted. Did you notice a change in them? Did they accept the compliment?