Home mental fitness Give More Sincere Compliments: Doctor’s Orders

Give More Sincere Compliments: Doctor’s Orders

by Marianne Navada

Have you ever wanted to give someone a compliment, but controlled yourself? You’re not alone. Studies show that we underestimate the power of our compliments. Second, we overestimate how uncomfortable or bothered the person we’re complimenting feels when we say something positive. Last, despite the anxiety we might feel before giving a compliment, people feel better after saying it. We all win! 

In our effort to be politically correct or risk offending someone, we end up giving fewer compliments to people. Next time, maybe don’t overthink it. We misjudge the power of the compliments we give. Complimenting someone can truly make the world a better place. It can make someone’s day or even strike friendship. 

The point is to be sincere about what we want to compliment someone on and be as specific as you can be. I understand how it might seem awkward complimenting someone on their looks (losing weight, beauty), but there are many ways to acknowledge the positive beyond the physical.

The Social Ripple of Compliments

One of the favorite compliments I’ve heard was from my husband to our neighbor. We just moved into a new place. They have a 2 year-old, and we could hear her laughing while she plays outside with her parents. We talked about how her laugh gave us joy and was contagious. When we saw the dad a few days later, my husband told him and I saw his face break into a smile. They invited us to dinner after and that started a good relationship with them. Conversations extended beyond “hello”.

Compliments also have a way of keeping our romantic relationships, strong. Research on married couples show that those that end up divorcing have a hard time recalling positive traits about their spouse. I imagine there are very few, if any, compliments given before a couple decides to divorce. However, I don’t think compliments should be forced. But If you open your mind to finding the admirable in people you are with or strangers you meet, gifting compliments might come easier.

Commit to living.