A true compliment causes the person receiving it to feel good. That seems like a no-brainer right? How many times have you recently received a compliment that made you stand a little taller or have a smile that was a little bigger on your face? When is the last time that you went to bed thinking about something someone said to you that caused you to feel pretty good about yourself? Heartfelt compliments are not difficult. We just need to put ourselves in someone else’s place, see their happiness with their situation, and make a comment on it. It doesn’t cost any money but reaps tremendous rewards for everyone concerned.
Conversely, we may hear someone say, ‘that’s okay for you but it is too …(fill in the blank) for me. Maybe they are talking about our house, where we live (city or rural) or our taste in clothes, decorating – the possibilities are endless. What may have started out as a feel good statement sort of takes the wind out of our sails right? It seems there are two issues here – one major and one minor. The first being that that kind of statement is not really a compliment but a judgment. That one is the major issue. We all know that judgements directed at us hurt! The second one may be a bit more minor and due to a lack of thought or simply lack of an understanding of the significance of word usage. Basically, regardless of what is said in the first part of the sentence before the word ‘but’ was inserted is really negated by using that word. Why? The word ‘but’ places a condition on everything said before it and erases the original intent. Often people get in a habit of using the word without realizing the effect.
Do we really want to celebrate the joy in what a person is showing us? If so, it requires that we truly listen to our own words and choose them carefully. Each of us can be the ‘resident critic’ that is so easy. It doesn’t take intelligence to constantly compare yourself to others. And it doesn’t take much to look for something in another person’s life that doesn’t fit your comfort zone. However, what is so wonderful about this world is that we are all on our own path, learning our own lessons and learning to celebrate the joy in life. When we accept that we are unique individuals with individual taste the heavy energy of judgment simply falls away.
I find it amazing that we can be such critics on other people’s lives. Why in the world do we feel we have the right to judge another? Maybe when a person sees another person joyful in their life it stirs an uneasy feeling inside of them and they give a half hearted compliment because they really want the joy they see in another person. Being a critic, regardless of exactly how it is said, says a whole lot more about that person’s ‘unhappiness index’ than anything else. But it still hurts doesn’t it? When we truly listen to others (and not just wait for our turn to talk) we can begin to hear value judgments about others flying around at the speed of light. The people making these value laden statements are experiencing their comfort zones getting smaller and smaller as they live out their lives. Sad to think about them in a few years.
Genuine compliments are just that …genuine… from our hearts. We are happy for the other person because we can see that they are happy. Placing conditions on our statements not only hurts others but hurts us as well. We are putting negative energy out into the Universe no matter how clever we think we are at masking it. The Universal Energy gives us more of the same because what we think about most often is like a magnet that draws more of the same back to us.
What if we made a concerted effort to become the wind UNDER the sails of others rather than taking the wind OUT of their sails? By making a concerted effort to compliment others we are changing the Universe one statement, one person at a time. Sometimes developing a more positive mindset takes work but is so worth it. The energy we bring to a circumstance by being positive just magnifies itself in our own life. It’s important to remember that ‘what goes around comes around.’
If you know of someone who might be helped by reading this blog please pass it on. Sometimes we can be a positive catalyst in the life of others when we do it from a place of love.
Have a great few days!