I wrote this article several years ago, but thought it would be nice to post it again..
The “Careful Use of Compliments” is the title of a book I read by Alexander McCall Smith…I have taken this book along to appointments and on the subway, as it’s perfect light reading, and everywhere I go people ask me if it is a book about manners in today’s society…before I can explain that the story has really nothing to do with manners in society, they would say, “it’s about time a book like that was written”, or “we really need something like that these days”…this has happened so many times that it started me thinking…is it true that we need a book to tell us how to pay compliments to each other?
I felt I had to do some more research…
The Webster Dictionary defines a compliment as:
An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation .
1. An expression of admiration or congratulation: commendation, congratulation (often used in plural), praise, tribute..
2. An expression of warm approval: acclaim, acclamation, applause, celebration, commendation, encomium, eulogy, kudos, laudation, panegyric, plaudit, praise..
3. An act requiring special generosity: beau geste, courtesy, favor..
I did some research and found out that there is actually a “Give a Compliment Day” which takes place every year on February 6th….we have actually established a specific day to express how much we appreciate each other…
Further reading elicited these results:
Compliments are a simple, yet powerful, relationship building tool. There are many different reasons to give a compliment. The most compelling – it makes you feel good. You cannot give a sincere compliment without feeling great. It’s impossible. Why does it feel so wonderful to pay a compliment? Because you are connecting honestly, directly, and kindly with another human being. It is a basic need that doesn’t get met often in our fast-paced, media-hyped, negative-slanted, technical world.
There are also many hidden benefits to giving compliments. It’s amazing that such a small, simple skill like giving away compliments can change the way you view yourself and the world around you. It will strengthen your relationships, boost your self-esteem, and increase your self-confidence. You will experience joy and happiness as you learn to give selflessly ..compliment day.com
The famous psychologist, Dr. George Crane, said, *"Appreciative words are the most powerful force for good will on earth."
Just what is this power of positive words in conversation? It is simply that people instinctively seek the pleasant, avoid the unpleasant. In giving a compliment, you will notice that you have improved not only your human relations vocabulary, but also your personality. Your philosophy of life has become more constructive. This is because you are absorbing, and using the power of positive words….Ehow.com
I can live for two months on a good compliment…Mark Twain
What flatterers say, try to make true….German Proverb
It is great to get praise from the lips of taciturnity..John Addington Symonds
To sum up: it seems that in complimenting others the way we do every day on RedBubble, and expressing our gratitude, with each positive word used, we are improving our own health and well-being, and as such we will enjoy longer life and enhanced creativity…
And the book that started the debate?….It’s about Edinburgh sleuth, and philosophy journal editor Isabel Dalhousie, who wonders why two brand-new paintings by a dead Scottish artist have suddenly come on the market and tries to unravel the mystery…Janis