The Art of Giving and Receiving a Compliment

I was recently speaking to a colleague and in the course of conversation complimented her hairstyle and how the new color and cut really suited her. She was positively beaming.

So, the rest of this post is about two things:

1) Why you or I would give someone a compliment, and

2) How the other person interprets and then responds to this gesture

Firstly, we all enjoy and thrive on positive interactions-it is certainly much more pleasant, triggers our feel good brain chemicals (endorphins) and puts a smile on our faces long after we’ve gone our separate ways.

Said from the heart and from a place of love, it enriches you as much as the person on the receiving end of this random act of kindness.

The “art” of giving a compliment is to spring it on the unsuspecting, catching them unawares. From your perspective, this is not done because you are angling for a reciprocal compliment. In this instance, it’s not all about you, it’s about them! Give without the thought of getting anything in return is what I am saying here.

Secondly, people are not stupid and will sense if the compliment is genuine (and not an attempt to “butter up” the recipient). We can all sniff out a phoney, some one with an ulterior motive or hidden agenda.

When you are on the receiving end of a compliment, note how you respond. Do you stammer, blush and try and play it down, or do you say a gracious thank you because you are comfortable in your own skin, and can accept the praise or kind words unreservedly.

By the way, your response is an indication of how you feel about yourself.

The “art” of receiving a compliment is to say to yourself, “Yes, I do deserve the praise, compliment etc”. So, when the inner critic asks why is it that you are deserving, have this reply ready. Say, “Because I just do”.

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