The word compliment dates back to the 1300s. The first version of the word "compliment" was derived from the Latin word “complementum," which was created during this time. The version meaning “a present or favor bestowed, a complimentary gift" was added to the English language in 1722. Frogs, and humans have giving each other compliments for a long, long time. Giving and receiving compliments can be powerful. Everyone, man and beast alike, is hungry for compliments. Even your dog will wag his tail when he's told, "You're a good boy!" Why, then, aren't we all doling out compliments with more abandon?
Think about the last time you received a compliment. Maybe it was from a loved one or a friend. Perhaps it came from a perfect stranger. Regardless of who uttered the words, it left you feeling uplifted, buoyed even. The words were transformative in how you lived the rest of day. They might not have caused a big or even a conscious shift, but I bet you walked with your head a little higher, you smiled a little more and were kinder to others. Why? Someone was paying attention to YOU. And at that moment, they were present...with YOU. It's a beautiful feeling!
If it feels so good to receive and to give a compliment, then why don't humans do it more often? I believe that it's because, in our current society, we're all too caught up in the busyness of our lives...a life that is all too often is about the self; me, myself, and I. The obvious solution is to work on becoming "other-centered." Don't just think to yourself about how nice someone looks, or what a great job they did on that project. Vocalize those thoughts. No matter how big or small they might be. We want to HEAR those good things you're thinking! Here's why compliments matter.
1. You'll brighten someone's day. Mark Twain famously said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment." And he's not alone. it's kind of remarkable what a few positive words can do for your psyche.
2. The giver of the compliment, becomes more positive, too. When we are present with others and take the time to pay them a compliment their happiness, in turn, makes us happy. And in the end, we all become kinder and nicer. Nice!
3. Your positivity will be passed on. There is a very good possibility that the compliment you give will cause the receiver to give a compliment to someone else. it causes a chain reaction. And just try to imagine all those happy people. it's kind of inspiring, isn't it? And it can all start with you. As a friend of mine once said, "Giving a compliment can have a beautiful domino effect."
Words are powerful. Use them for good, not evil. The kind words you speak to someone might be the only kind thing they hear all day. Giving compliments is an intuitively simple that could benefit all of us. Yet we don't do it. At least not as often as we might. Challenge yourself today on #NationalComplimentDay to throw compliments around like confetti. Be the start of a happiness chain reaction. You have something better to do today?
Please join me back here tomorrow for my final blog of the week. I'll tell you right now that it will be a little "seedy." But don't let that put you off.
Until then I wish you many compliments and, of course,