Friday, March 13, 2015

The Power Of A Compliment

"I can live for two months on a good compliment."  - Mark Twain
I was in a bar-b-q restaurant yesterday.  There were three ladies working behind the counter.  We were talking back and forth when I said "You all sure do make great food!".  After a few more minutes, my supper was ready and I was walking out the door.  One of the workers behind the counter called out to me and said, "Sir, thanks for saying our food is great!".  I gave her a "you're welcome" nod, and then I left with my bag of delicious bar-b-q.
As I got in my car I thought about that experience.  I really didn't make a big deal out of it when I complimented them.  While I did indeed mean what I said, it was just a quick statement in the midst of a discussion.  And yet she held on to those seven words of praise.  Of all that was said, the brief compliment meant the most to her.
I've come to realize there is power in a compliment!
Some people only hear the negative.  What they're doing wrong.  How they've messed up.  Where they've failed.  And these folks feel like they just can't do anything right.
People need to hear some praise every now and then.  This can come in many different forms.  Just think of the different types of compliments that folks share:  "You look great today."  "That meal you cooked tastes delicious."  "I admire how hard you work."  "That essay you wrote is fantastic." 
Have you ever stopped to think what a compliment can do? 
1.)  Compliments can boost the self esteem of someone who is down on themselves.
2.)  Compliments can encourage someone who is tempted to give up.
3.)  Compliments can improve our relationships with others.
4.)  Compliments can change a rotten day into a terrific one.
Of course, we need to be careful with our compliments.  Don't tell someone they've done awesome when they've actually done a terrible job.  They'll never learn to improve if they think erroneously that their performance is up to par.  Also, don't compliment people with a selfish goal of buttering them up or manipulating them.  We need to be sincere in our hearts and pure in our motives when we dish out praise to people around us.
Compliments.  We all get a blessing when we receive them.  This is true whether we are selling bar-b-q, teaching a classroom full of kids, singing a solo in church, or cleaning a yard.  Everyone likes to receive a good one every now and then!
Let's intentionally look out for people who are living right and doing well.  And let's compliment them for it.  When we do this, we're blessing them in a life-changing way!

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