My mum loves to regale the story of my unique trick used to chat to adults as a child. Non of this whining or crying or having a tantrum for me. Instead I used to go up to them and my opening line would be a compliment, even in my younger years.
A 4-year-old me approached a teacher at parents evening to tell her that she had really pretty hair. I’m 27 now and still do the same, one of the greatest things you can do for someone is compliment them without warning. Alfie always said it best. “A complement is best when unexpected.”
As Brits we are shocking at compliments, but as it turns out it’s not the giving we are less than inept at, it’s the receiving. Our default when complimented always falls to the negative, almost disregard of the person bestowing the compliment upon us. It feels Un-British to accept a complaint, for fear I am sure of being seen to be concerted or vain.
In actual fact by shrugging off the compliment, you are insulting the giver and making them out to be wrong, and no one likes to be wrong. The more you effervesce about how the outfit isn’t right, you hair isn’t that great, the more the giver is likely to be think “Chill out, I was only being nice”
Think of it like this; some kind person holds the door open for you so you can dash in from the rain, it’s unexpected and kind. You thank them. You wouldn’t dream of saying to them “oh don’t bother it’s only me”. So maybe we all need to learn how to compliment, and accept compliments in return.
The same approach should be taken with compliments;
Thank them. Don’t over enthuse about how kind they are, simply thank them for taking the time out of their no doubt busy lives to lust over your neon whistles shift dress, or even just your simple pair of favourite jeans.
So how about this, give someone a compliment today. Something you know to be true but maybe isn’t the most obvious choice. Great things to go for are; Nail colour, eyes brows and shoes. All things that us women really do consider.
But it’s not just a woman’s game; nor should we forget our XY friends, tell him his shoes are great, the colour shirt really suits him, you really loved his presentation or how impressed you were with the project he has been working on, you will be surprised how much he appreciates it!
Always remember to give complaints with sincerity and truth, and never for the purpose of getting one in return. Think of it as a gift.
Remember to thank the person, accept their opinion and go ahead and bask in it a little.
Today I challenge you to compliment someone, not just your best mate, but someone new, it will make their day, guaranteed.
Would love to know how you get on!