The Art of Giving a Compliment – Lost?

I recently read (and I don’t know where or I’d link it here) that most people in the US today are unsure of how to give or receive compliments.  How did we get there?  I honestly don’t know, but I’m interested in your ideas in the comments following this post.

I posted a video of people who are doing both, giving and receiving compliments.  They are doing them right, most of the time; but there were some fumbles, and I’ll explain.

Giving a compliment: When you give the gift of a compliment, it should never be under any duress.  If you give one because someone gave one to you first, it sometimes (not always) can lessen the value of the gift.  It all depends on the level of authenticity of the compliment.  Keep that in mind.  No one wants flattery (where someone tells you what they think you want to hear).  It should always be about the other person, not us.  So, a compliment says: this is what I see you doing/being and here’s the value I see it has.  A fumble says: this is how you make ME better.  That’s encouragement and a good thing – but not an actual compliment.

We all want to hear what good we are in this world of struggle.  All of us have bad days that make us wish we weren’t born or that it would all end; and it’s the genuine feedback from those who know us best that keep us going.  That feedback isn’t always a compliment, but it can be encouragement of any kind about how we can improve or how we make you feel.  So I won’t say that anyone should stop being encouraging!   I just think we need to be able to step outside of ourselves on occasion and just notice what makes others stand out as important or unique in the crowd of people we all live in.

Comments?  Thoughts?  Share!  I need feedback :).

Copyright © 2013 Churchmousie ~ all rights reserved

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2 thoughts on “The Art of Giving a Compliment – Lost?

  1. Hi, Dodi! I like this blog entry a lot, cuz it got me thinking that, sometimes when I compliment a person, I do it for 2 reasons: One because I want to help them feel good about themselves, but Two, cuz I want them to like me more than they do already. So, in the future, I’ll have to check my motives before complimenting somebody.

    • That’s a very human foible, Bob, and I’m glad you brought it up. I guess that’s what we think the aim of flattery is: to make us like you more. But, a sincere compliment can have the same springboard for happening. I guess that IF it’s still a sincere and genuine compliment, it isn’t so important what the reason for saying it is. God will work out the motives. We all need to hear true compliments as much as possible, though. I read somewhere (again, I don’t know exactly where) that it takes 8 sincere compliments or encouragements to overcome just ONE harsh criticism. I believe that’s accurate, when I look at my own life’s hurts.

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