If there’s anything that brings a genuine smile to our faces, it’s a compliment. There’s nothing like it, especially when it’s unexpected. When you’re walking to class and someone tells you they like your earrings, or you shoes, or your shirt—whatever it may be, it always brings a smile. Ding.
We’re even happier when the compliments go beyond our clothes to our character. When someone tells us we are kind, funny, compassionate—whatever it may be, it gives us an extra spark. What’s important is that we really listen to those wonderful words and use them wisely. When someone sees something in us that we may not see in ourselves, we can learn something entirely new about who we are. We can start to see ourselves in a new light and find direction when we may be feeling lost.
Sometimes our minds can get cluttered with what to do, what to pursue, and where to go with our lives. Hearing someone offer a token of wisdom from the outside in is a precious gift that we shouldn’t take lightly. When we’re seeking direction in life, our friends and family may be the first to offer it through the words they share with us.
Now while we are often told to not care what people think about us, in the case of compliments, we should care. We shouldn’t just brush them off and not take them seriously. (Of course you don’t want to take them so seriously that your head grows to the size of the Good Year Blimp). But compliments aren’t meant to be words that come and go. People say them because they want to affect you in a positive way—to give you more confidence and to further the compliment to a new level. Someone tells you that you’re kind—perhaps now it will propel you to be even kinder. Start to see yourself in the positive way that people see you.
When you’re given a compliment, it’s because someone wants to give you the gift of happiness. Accept it and let it radiate within. On that note, spread that light by giving genuine compliments to others on a regular basis. Go beyond the small talk and get real with people. Tell them what you really think about them—at least all of the positive qualities you see in them.
And even if you’re thinking—“What would I say to the people I’m not a big fan of?” Well, even they have qualities that you can admire. And yes, you should share your compliments with them. Silence isn’t the answer when it comes to the people we’re not best friends with—it only separates us further. Close the gap and find the good. It’s there within everyone.
This week I hope you’ll keep an ear out for the kind words that come your way. Make note of them and let them make you happy. Remember that’s why people say them in the first place. Also, be sure to spread the joy as well. Watch your words bring a smile to someone’s face. Chances are, it will bring a smile to yours as well.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook