See Something, Say Something
Everyone loves receiving compliments. There’s something about receiving a spontaneous compliment that just has the power to make your day. It’s an instant day brightener and self-esteem booster.
Over the past few weeks I’ve received some really genuine compliments. Some have been from strangers/acquaintances on my appearance (like my hair, make-up, and outfits) and some have been from clients on my work. Both have brightened my spirits and made me think about why compliments are such a special thing.
I think the biggest thing that makes compliments so wonderful is that they feel so genuine and authentic. If someone didn’t want to compliment you, then they wouldn’t say anything, and you wouldn’t know the difference! No harm, no foul. It’s like the phrase: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Well, compliments are a nice thing to say. So I believe that when we admire something in someone else (whether it be in their appearance, their personality, or their work) – we should tell them!
The compliments that I’ve received from strangers made me feel good because they felt really authentic. A stranger has no reason to say that my hair looks good unless they truly think it does, whereas a loved one may feel the need to say it looks nice. So I suppose it makes compliments more believable when they come from someone who really has nothing to gain from giving them.
On the other hand, the compliments from parents about how I’m caring for their kids make me feel amazing because they validate all of the hard work I put in. One mother who is fairly new to the daycare I work at has expressed on multiple occasions how happy she is with my care of her girls. After just a couple of weeks she told me how comfortable she felt leaving her girls with me, and she’s also said that wished I could graduate faster so I wouldn’t have to spend my mornings doing schoolwork and could be with her girls all day long!
Receiving Compliments With Your Soul
While I am all for giving compliments, at times I have worried that when receiving compliments, I let them inflate my ego. The ego is that part of you that wants to brag and boast about how great you are. So if you receive a compliment and you let it go to your head, you may find yourself feeling like you’re the best or that you’re extra special, which can be harmful! I believe that everyone should feel good about him or herself, but one should never feel like he or she is better than everyone else.
When receiving compliments, we must make sure that we are not feeding the ego, but rather feeding the soul. Your soul is in charge of your self-esteem and self-image, and we have to remember that what really matters is that you feel good about yourself!
When receiving a compliment, we should allow it to make us feel good about ourselves (a.k.a. increase our self-esteem), but we should not allow it to make us feel like we are better than others, or like we can brag about how great we are – that would be allowing the ego to take over.
Here’s an example:
The soul receiving a compliment:
Someone tells me my hair looks good and I get excited, because I’m feelin’ myself! Maybe I tried out a new style that morning that I really liked, but now receiving someone else’s validation is just icing on the cake. I feel happy and pretty because I feel good about me.
The ego receiving a compliment:
Someone tells me my hair looks good and suddenly I feel like the prettiest person in the room. It gives me a sense of superiority, like I’m a queen. I start bragging about how long it took me to do my hair, so it had better look good!
See the difference? In the first example, I feel good about myself, by myself, for myself – it has nothing to do with me comparing myself to others. I use the compliment to boost my self-esteem. In the second one, I use the compliment to boost my ego. I allow it to make me feel like I’m the prettiest/coolest/most awesome person in the room.
So when someone gives you a compliment, make sure it doesn’t go straight to your head (or ego!), but definitely do accept it and allow it to make you feel good. You should never feel like you have to brush off or deflect a compliment in order to be humble or yogic or whatever other idealistic way of being you wish to be. You deserve to feel good about yourself and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise! #SelfLove
Pay It Forward
In conclusion, I think that when we see something we like, we should say something! It takes no time and does no harm to you, but it has the power to make someone else feel so good.
The whole idea of “pay it forward” has been a huge craze over the past few years. I’m always hearing stories of people paying for the person in front of them’s coffee or putting an extra quarter in someone’s meter that’s running out. And I think giving compliments is the absolute easiest way to pay it forward!
When you compliment someone and make them feel good, they’re so much more likely to go forward and compliment someone else. This creates a ripple effect of positivity that can affect an infinite number of people!
So please, when you see anything that you think is beautiful/admirable/cool – let that person know! I guarantee it will brighten their day.