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Is it possible some people do not know how to give a proper compliment? Or even worse, are there people who never give compliments?
My two darling daughters know how to compliment me so well. “Mom your hair looks perfect!” and my favorite from my baby girl ” Awww you look so pretty today Mamma!” Their compliments always take me by surprise and make me feel so happy. Of course, they can turn off the charm just as efficiently: “MOM stop shopping in the Junior Department!” “Ma, those jeans make your butt look big!” Or as I call them: the classic anti-compliment! But, as long as it is delivered from a place of love I can accept it. Yesterday, I received what I classify as a compliment gone wrong. Standing at the check out counter at a shop I often frequent I hear: “you look good today” from the cashier. I peered at her from under my huge sunglasses and shake my head denying her compliment and she reiterates once again: “No! You look good today!” All my brain is thinking is: “gee I must look really terrible on most days” but of course that is not how she meant it. (I hope!) So I got to thinking about how words really do have power and how sensitive we all are to compliments. I bet you can still recall some of the best compliments you have received. As women we do expect them when we have made “the effort” as I am fond of calling it. If I take the time to do my hair, makeup, nails, outfit etc he had darn well better take note eh? Some men are experts at this and others fail miserably….but I bet we all can fondly remember the ones who were lavish with compliments. Of particular interest is the compliment from a friend who is happy if you look good… just do not look better than her….then you will often get criticism as way of punishment for looking too good! Women are funny like that. We are all secretly competitive with each other.
My husband does compliment me nicely before we go out. But like I said: I made the effort! “Fine food takes time to prepare” as some menu’s have pointed out…just in case you are too ignorant to realize that fact we -will -spell- it- out. If I take too long getting ready for Date Night I gently remind my spouse of that menu slogan. I am, after all, fine food!
How to deliver a good compliment? Keep it sincere and genuine.
If you are new to this world keep is simple. Start small: “Your manicure looks great!” “What a pretty ring!” As you become braver work up to:”Beautiful hair!”
Be specific: “that shade of blue is great on you” “Your hair is so shiny” “OMG your waist looks so tiny in that dress” “Pilates is agreeing with you” “fabulous shoes”
And you can never go wrong with the flat out over the top enthusiastic “Gorgeous!” as long as you are genuine and sincere.
What about people who have never once uttered a kind compliment ever? We all know one! It is strange because when you do compliment them they soak it up, but they never return a compliment. My theory is that the people most likely to give compliments are the people who are the most secure, and the happiest with themselves. They have a lot of love to give and they enjoy spreading the cheer. So get out there today and give a compliment and see how pleasantly surprised you may be at the response. Most of us go into denial mode like I did yesterday but that is not a good trait either. Accept the nicety with a gracious response and try not to go into self deprecating mode. “It is better to give than receive” may be true of compliments my friends….and by the way you look STUNNING in that outfit!