Emotional Generosity

"I can live for two months on a good compliment."
Mark Twain

People like being around people who make them feel good. Validation from others feels great because it helps us feel more accepted and secure and therefore more comfortable inside ourselves. More importantly, a compliment makes me feel desirable, valuable, and in one word, 'special'.

In one way or another, virtually everybody dreams of standing out, being admired and even applauded. To be viewed, and to see ourselves, as merely average does not do very much for us.....or our ego. This is primarily so because we live in a society that refuses to celebrate us unless we are judged exceptional. This also explains why we are envious when we hear drums banging for someone else.

We all want to be thought highly of and when complimented we glow internally. It serves to verify our sense of inner worth.

In my late teens I remember my first transactional analysis workshop. I had to ask myself some uncomfortable questions...."Do you praise people often?" "Do you praise others for their talents or see their flaws instantly?" This was an embarrassingly introspective moment!

The truth is that when I was younger I was really stingy with my emotions. I always felt I had to be competitive and better than those around me....and it was taken to an extreme by my perfectionist Virgo self! To praise meant others were better and that I wasn't good enough. I was like a karma police - constantly assessing if others were deserving of my kindness.

As Mother Teresa said, "There is more hunger for love than there is for bread."

So slowly I learned that we all want someone to recognise us and when people give us compliments it signifies that we are praise-worthy.

In a world where people often feel alone and disconnected, a simple compliment can go a long way. What's more is that a compliment has the power to stick with us for years. I remember my 4th grade teacher complimenting me on my acting ability and I went on to take advanced drama classes and loved it!

A study by Japanese scientists asked 48 subjects to learn and perform specific finger exercises on a keyboard as fast as possible. The subjects were separated into 3 groups. One group got individual compliments from an evaluator. Another group watched others get complimented. And the third evaluated their own performance. When they repeated the performance a day later, those who were complimented performed significantly better than the other two groups. The research explained that the same area of the brain is activated as when receiving money; it's a social reward!

Compliments are like gifts of love....they are a mark of refined awareness and consciousness.

So I suggest:
1. Compliment someone....it's FREE!
2. When you give one you're probably going to get one too.
3. It's kind to give a compliment, "kill them with kindness" they say. It will most likely kill a bad mood.
4. It will take the focus off of you and make someone's life a little sunnier...it's a game changer, for you and them.
5. Smiling burns calories!!!

We all have the power to turn someone's entire day around, and it's easier than you think. All it takes is a sincere compliment.