As we go about our day we often hear things said about us. “oh, you look so good in that color”, “Did you get a haircut?” or “Did you mean to dye your hair that color?” You hear them all the time and more than not they are criticisms not compliments. Things that spew out of our mouths to those closest to us are usually not very nice. They are said with the intention of “helping” to better them. I am guilty of doing this very thing. I don’t like that I do that and sometimes I catch myself and turn it around to the positive and end paying a compliment instead. I feel better and the loved one feels better.
Studies show that the average person gets 7 criticisms to 1 compliment. Wow! That is tough. I try to make a point to always pay someone a compliment when I first meet them. It is easy and it really puts them at ease. I find that saying something nice flows out of my mind and tongue easier than stopping and finding fault with someone. Now when it comes to family it is, unfortunately, the opposite. I have to really work harder at not being the hen pecking mom or wife and thinking that I was put here to be their mirror or holy spirit. Husband cleans the kitchen but forgets to sweep, what do I do? I look at the floor. My child brings home a report card with 4 A’s and 1 C and I harp on the C. Letting up on all of that is hard but do-able.
As one who heard a lot of negative talk while growing up my ear tends to bend toward that one bad review. I have had to re-program myself to look for the positive.
Here are a few ways to accentuate the positives:
1. Listen for the things that are good and true about you.
2. The next time you meet someone find one thing that you like about them and pay them a compliment. It may be the only one they get that day.
3. When you hear a negative review about yourself, replace it with a positive one. For example: “You must not know how to organize.” Say this to yourself either out loud or quietly: “I am great at organizing”.
4. Stop the urge to burst someone’s bubble or wonderful idea. 9 times out of 10 they will come to a reasonable conclusion for themselves. They don’t need us telling them how much effort or money it will take to accomplish their dream. When that urge hits, stop and say “that sounds like a great idea”. Do not, I repeat do not, say the word but after that sentence.
5. Write out a compliment to someone. Either on Facebook, email or card/letter, write out a compliment to someone this week. I still have a small green 3×5 card that was passed around a group of wonderful women some 20 years ago (yes, I was only 9) that contains a sentence or two about how great they think I am. I am encouraged by that card and I still treasure it to this day.
If you tend to give out negative comments like they are going out of style then get a picture in your head of me putting my hand over my mouth and holding back the negative words. You do the same and then think about the 7 to 1 rule. Be that one person who will give someone their one Fabulous compliment for the day. Have you been given your compliment for the day?