I want to urge you all to pay someone a compliment today as it makes the recipient beam from the inside out. I was described as being ‘amazing’ three times yesterday, by three different people. Now I am not telling you that to brag, but what is important is how it made me feel. The first time I was told it, I shrugged it off, rather embarrassed and dismissed them as being a flatterer. Then an hour later, I was told it again and I joked ‘Oh yes I know thanks, I am being told that all the time today’ So I was still uncomfortable with the compliment but faced it with humour. Then I have been told it one further time this morning and I tried to be more gracious. I have written before that our natural British modesty is less comfortable with compliments than our perception of the American cultural approach of ‘bragging’.. While I am urging you to compliment others, I am not recommending that I start to brag about how amazing I am.
But although it made me joke and laugh, underneath the compliments also made me smile and feel good. So I think I am going to compliment others more and see if I can spread some joy that way. I am honest in my approach, so I will not be showering flattery where it is not deserved, but sometimes we are guilty of thinking warm thoughts about someone, rather than voicing them out loud. We might not react very graciously at the time when we receive the compliment, but it is the type of comment that we reflect on later, with a smile and they can give a much needed boost occasionally.
Joshua’s school is great at celebrating success, however small, and in praising our children. Joshua is complimented for funny things like staying awake, being vocal or throwing the ball deliberately to the wrong child! The last ‘certificate of achievement’ that I can find was from last term when he was praised for ” doing jobs for the office staff”! I dread to think what chaos he wreaked in the school office as he likes to hold the receiver of their phones to his mouth and ear, and pretend to chatter like mummy! He likes to bash away at keyboards, typing like his mum does. But instead of suggesting that Joshua had been in the way in the office, he received an award for his efforts, which is a positive way of seeing his behaviour.
So go ahead, make someone’s day and pay them a compliment today.