how has this summer been treating you so far (besides being boiling hot)?
Welcome to this third report of my #ChallengeMeJune series. This time I tried to pay a compliment to someone (to people I knew or to people I didn’t know) at least once a day for one week. I have to say that Americans are pretty great at giving compliments. They will stop you on the streets to compliment you on your shoes, your scarf or your hair (they will, trust me, happened to me before). I usually give people compliments anyway but thought it was fun to be more reflective about it for a week.
Read on more about why paying compliments to someone is a great thing and why you should give it a try (in case you’re not a professional compliment giver already, in that case you’re dismissed and don’t have to read this).
Why should I pay compliments to someone you ask?
#1 It takes the focus off of you
That might sound complicated at first but hear me out. If you’re having a bad day, paying a genuine compliment to someone can make their day a little nicer, and you will feel better than before as well.
#2 It makes the person you pay a compliment perform better!
Study researchers in Tokyo trained 48 adults to perform a task that required them to tap items on a keyboard in a specific pattern. Then the adults were split into three groups. One group received personalized, individual compliments from one of the administrators of the study. Another group was forced to watch as other people received compliments. The third group was simply meant to evaluate how they did, as participants, on the test. When the participants returned to the testing facility the next day, all of the participants were asked to perform the finger test once again. The group that received personalized compliments performed better on the test that day than either of the other groups. Researchers believe that the compliments made them perform better.
The researchers were able to find scientific proof that a person performs better when they receive a social reward after completing an exercise. There seems to be scientific validity behind the message ‘praise to encourage improvement’. Complimenting someone could become an easy and effective strategy to use in the classroom and during rehabilitation (see source here).
#3 Compliments build trust
Each one of us walking this planet has the desire to be acknowledged. When someone else notices even the slightest thing about another person, it can shout to that person, “Hey! Someone noticed me!!” Your daily compliments to “the shy one” at work whose name no one knows can help her break out of her shyness and, who knows? turn her into the best friend you’ve ever had. We all need someone in our lives we can trust, and the more we build up others the more we’re also building up ourselves.
#4 What goes around comes around
When you give a compliment, you’re more than likely going to get one in return. As simple as that! But obviously don’t go around paying compliments expecting that people must return it.
Who I payed compliments to during this week
Day 1: To a 2 week old baby of friends I’ve visited. I just said how perfect he was and how cute his hands and fingernails were. To what the new mother replied they were quite dangerous as they grew so fast and the little one would scratch himself. Still, they were cute.
Day 2: To an old man (he was with his lovely wife, don’t you worry) at the line before checking in at the airport. We did small talk about where we were flying to. They turned out to fly to Athens to visit family. I then said that I loved Athens and the food. He seemed so happy about it and kept on telling me about all the foods he was looking forward to eat.
Day 3: Told Philipp that he is a great human being (just in general)
Day 4: Told my grandmother that she looked really well and fresh.
Day 5: Told my pregnant friend how relaxed she seemed.
Day 6: Told a friend how good she looked.
Day 7: Told a friend how lovely her shorts were.
I obviously didn’t limit myself to only one compliment per day, the sky is the limit if you will. I was just a bit rubbish at remembering them (should have written them down but…no). Anyway, there is no such thing as too many compliments, as long as they are genuine of course. So give it a try! You will feel better and the person receiving them, WIN-WIN!