I was looking at the community noticeboard today when I saw something different that made me smile. Among all the for sale adverts and information about upcoming events was a piece of paper titled, ‘Take a compliment’. At the bottom were tear off strips with compliments such as, ‘You are beautiful’, ‘I like your necklace,’ and ‘That colour looks great on you.’ I thought what a lovely idea. Some of the strips were missing so obviously some people had literally taken a compliment.
It is nice to be paid a compliment. Some people find it difficult to know how to respond and end up playing down the compliment. If you have low self esteem you may worry that the person paying you a compliment doesn’t mean it. You may think perhaps they are just saying it to make you feel good. Some people question the speaker’s motive and can think, ‘What does she (or he) want?’ Usually when someone pays you a compliment they mean it. Accept the compliment.
If someone says they like what you are wearing and you react by saying, ‘What, this old thing?’ or something similar you are actually throwing the compliment back in their face. You are almost saying they don’t have good taste. Even if you are surprised the person has chosen that particular item of clothing or ensemble to compliment you on, just say, ‘Thank you.’ In any situation where you have been paid a compliment and you are unsure how to respond, saying thank you is a safe reaction.
It can make your day when someone pays you a compliment. In fact, the author Mark Twain made the claim, ‘I can live for two months on a good compliment.’
Sometimes a stranger will comment on an item you are wearing or the bag you are carrying. You can thank the person for their positive comment and leave it at that or get involved in conversation. Sometimes it seems appropriate to tell where you bought the item or tell a quick anecdote about it. A compliment can be a good ice breaker.
At times someone will pay you a compliment about something you have done. Again, it makes you feel good to hear someone appreciates your effort. It can be reassuring if you were unsure.
It is also nice to pay others a compliment. It makes the giver feel good as well as the person who receives the compliment. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (English poet and philosopher born in the eighteenth century) said, ‘The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.’
Although it feels good to get a compliment, it is important not to depend on the praise of others to make you feel good about yourself. Sometimes you have put a lot of effort into something and no one thanks you or tells you what a good job you have done. You need to have confidence in yourself and be happy in the knowledge you have done a good job.
People often don't compliment others as much as they could. Ikea has come up with a solution. The company has created a mirror which compliments people. The mirror makes use of ‘kinect motion sensor technology combined with complex coding.’ I have no idea what this means but I gather it allows the mirror to personalise the compliment to suit the person looking in the mirror.
Instead of buying talking mirrors perhaps we need to encourage people to do pay more compliments. There are so many things you can compliment others on. While you are looking for things to make complimentary remarks about, don’t forget to pay yourself compliments on a regular basis.