The Power of Compliments
Updated: Apr 13
I started middle parting my hair this year. I was SO self conscious about it. I really wasn’t sure if I liked it, but I knew that I needed something new. A lot of people didn’t notice, or at least didn’t say anything.
I remember walking up to a table of my friends and the first thing one of them said was, “Wow Carmen, your hair looks SO good. Did you do something different with it?” .. I’ve never appreciated a comment more in my life - honestly. Silly right? It was such a simple compliment. She probably doesn’t even remember saying that to me.
That’s the thing about compliments. You can say something that seems so small to you, but it could mean the world to whoever receives it.
Point is, go out of your way to tell people when you like their new outfit or hairstyle. Tell them you really appreciated something that they did. Congratulate them, even on the small things. You never know the impact you’ll make.
But this post isn’t really about giving compliments, it’s more about receiving them.
I’ve just started noticing that so many people don’t know how to accept someone’s admiration! I’m guilty sometimes too, even though I’m trying to be more conscious of it. I genuinely think it’s just something that women have naturally learned to do in this age.
I have so many examples of how I’ve avoided compliments in the past (without even thinking). Someone will say something like “Hey, I really like your sweater!” and I’ll say, “Really? I’ve had it since middle school.” I’ve also had people come up to me and tell me that I looked good (regarding weight loss), and I’d be like, “Oh I appreciate that but I’m really nowhere close to where I’d like to be.” - Both of these things are true, but I didn’t just accept the freaking compliment. I avoided it.
Here’s the problem: If you reject or redirect positive comments about yourself, people will assume that you don’t believe them, which will probably lead them to believe that you don’t have much self-confidence. Then, the really crappy people in the world will use that to their manipulative advantage. So my advice, even if you don’t believe it, say thank you and move on.
Rejection is also annoying and awkward. Let's be honest.. If you tell a friend that she looks great and she replies, “Dude I’ve been eating like crap. I probably gained 5 pounds”, what do you say? I’m sorry? I still think you look great.. hence why I just freaking told you? -- Here’s what I like to remind myself: people feel good when they make others feel good. If someone goes out of their way for you, don’t shoot them down.
Lastly, let’s talk about my favorite, fishing for compliments. When you are dependent on others for your self confidence, you leave SO much room to get hurt.
If someone doesn’t acknowledge your insecure comment - You’ll probably instantly assume that they believe what you said, which leads you to doubt yourself. In reality, they could have accidentally ignored it or (frankly) didn’t feel like feeding into it.. even if they don’t believe what you said. Secondly, sometimes people will tell you what you don’t want to hear. For example: if you ask a friend’s opinion on your outfit and they give an honest yet negative response, it’ll still probably get to you.
You’ve got to be able to have your own self love and confidence. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many compliments you get if you can’t love yourself. You are the only one who can change your mind. In summary: be confident, give compliments, and take them!