Proverbs 31:26 — When she speaks, she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.
When was the last time you received a good compliment? I can think of a few that stand out in my mind. The funny thing is, I didn’t receive them yesterday or even last week. I often remember a few simple words a friend told me, and it’s been a while since she uttered them to me. I’ll spare you the specifics, but I think it’s kind of crazy how months later, I can still remember the compliment. Words are powerful.
A while ago, I went to get a manicure at my favorite place, and since most of my friends work normal hours during the week, I went by myself on a day off. As I was sitting there, two young girls who seemed to have just finished another year of college walked in and sat down the row to my right. Picking a nail color is one of the hardest decisions for me every time I get my nails done (okay, all decisions in life are hard for me, really 🙂 ). Anyway, the girl sitting closest to me had picked out the prettiest shade of purple and it looked SO good on her nails! I was a little bit envious the whole time, as I liked her polish better than the color currently being painted on mine. Dang it! Why didn’t I see that one before??
I kept glancing over at her as she chatted with her friend. I really wanted to tell her how much I liked the color she picked and how nice it looked on her. The little voice in my head however, told me to keep my mouth shut. You don’t even know her. She’ll think you’re weird or being creepy for noticing. No, just let her be. Don’t say anything, it’s fine. It was a battle in my head for literally 20 minutes whether or not I should say anything. Their appointment finished before mine and they both got up and left. I sat that there thinking how silly it was of me not to say anything. How simple of an exchange it could have been. “Hey, that’s a really pretty color you picked out! I love it!” Simple as that, and we could have gone back to being strangers (or maybe we would’ve become bffs, I’ll never know!). What was I so afraid of? Who cares if she thought I was weird?
We all do this to some extent, don’t we? Maybe not over something as simple or silly as nail polish colors, but how often have you had complimentary thoughts about someone or something and opted to not say anything? Or maybe it didn’t even occur to you to verbalize it? We tend to underestimate the power of a very simple, small compliment. What if the very thing you compliment them on is something they were feeling insecure or uncertain about? You have the power to positively validate their choices or decisions in a few, or maybe even one, statement. Heck, they might even remember your words a few months from now! Think about how encouraging you can be!
I’m not saying you have to go around saying every single nice thought you have about someone, but I am saying, it might be more impactful and uplifting than you think. But keep this in mind…
There’s nothing worse than an in-genuine ‘compliment’ from someone. It’s obvious when you say something fake just to get someone to like you. Be intentional and genuine. That’s important. Tell them in person; it’ll mean more. If you notice something you really like about a friend or a random stranger at the mall, TELL THEM! It’s so easy. It takes zero effort and usually you’ll feel better too. Giving compliments is a two-way street. Why keep those good thoughts to yourself, when you just might make someone’s day or even week! Yeah, it might feel weird and a smidge scary, but what do you have to lose?
Magnify Their Strengths
One thing I’ve noticed working alongside a bunch of female nurses, is how although we all ultimately have the same job and role, we each have such different strengths and ways of caring for our patients. Some tasks or situations that I struggle with, one of my coworkers might deal with in a much better manner or approach.
When you compliment someone, magnify their strengths even if it means surfacing your weaknesses.
We’re all given different gifts and that’s important to remember. I’ve found myself well aware of that before. “Wow, I really struggle with _____, but you are so good at handling that! Thanks so much for your help.” Point out their strengths. They may not be aware of it, and it’s always good to hear something other people appreciate about you, or think you do well.
Remind Them of Their Worth
Use your words to empower those around you. Build them up. Remind them they are worthy. It’s really great to receive compliments about your clothes, or your hair, or your physical appearance, but how much more meaningful is it when someone compliments your character or notices your heartfelt intentions?
“It’s so nice to hear your laugh”
“You’re so thoughtful”
“I love being around you”
“You’re a really great listener”
That’s who they are at the core. It means so much more. Anyone can compliment a pretty face, but we all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts. I’m not saying everything you do deserves to be complimented, because we are called to do good deeds and be respectful quietly. However, when you notice a good quality about someone, do them a favor and tell them. Don’t keep all those positive thoughts stuffed up inside you. Share them with the world. Encourage them with a glimpse of what you see in them. They may not notice it about themselves.
Accept a Compliment
It’s really hard sometimes to accept a compliment with a simple “Thank-you.” So often, we try to minimize kind things someone says about us.
“Oh, this hair style?? I haven’t washed it in a couple days and I just threw it up quick!”
“Oh, I’ve had this shirt forever. Just pulled it out of the closet quick this morning.”
“Well thank you, but I didn’t really do much.”
I don’t know why, but it seems we struggle so often to just accept a good compliment. Challenge yourself this week. If someone compliments you, thank them and don’t say ‘BUT’….. Just smile and go on with your day. You deserve it. Don’t try to minimize it!
Keep in mind how much power your words hold, and choose them wisely. Choose to encourage, inspire, empower, and uplift the people around you this week. Keep an eye out for opportunities to genuinely compliment someone, and make sure they know you mean it. Shine bright for God’s kingdom. Speak truth and light into the world! You’ll be blessed and so will those around you.
Romans 12:10 (MSG) — Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Thanks so so much for stopping by! Means more than you know! I hope you have a blessed week 🙂