ON COMPLIMENTS

Everyone likes to receive a compliment! I can see through flattery quite readily, enjoy it for the moment, but don’t take it seriously. However, I agree with Mark Twain who is credited with saying, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Some kind, encouraging compliments people have spoken to me over the years have echoed favorably to this day!

I was raised in a family that thought giving a compliment meant that the recipient would probably get an obnoxiously swelled head! I cannot remember receiving sincere and genuine compliments from my parents to my face. I did, however, overhear compliments made about me to other people when they thought I wasn’t listening! Sad, but it got so that I disbelieved anyone when they gave me compliments. I would feel uncomfortable, would minimize it, and would feel the need to return it instantly so as to take unwanted attention off me. I hope I have matured since then.

Getting feedback because of a job well done, an interesting idea proposed, or solution to a problem offered, is a good thing and tells me that I’m on the right track. The first great compliment I was ever paid was when someone asked me what I thought, and then they astonished me by actually listening to what I answered and valued my thoughts.

Over the years I have learned that being trusted is a huge compliment, even greater than knowing that they love me. To me, mutual respect and appreciation is an expression of love under which people thrive!

Some folks may not think so, but I believe it is a gracious compliment when a friend expects only the best from me, and deeply appreciates my nobler virtues. It raises me to a higher level of accountability for I would not ever want to disgrace their opinion of me. That is not the same as someone putting me on a pedestal and expecting perfection. I don’t put people there and I don’t want to be put there either! No one can live up to that! It is a compliment to cherish and encourage each other’s hopes and dreams. An honest and caring rebuke is also a compliment in that the person delivering the rebuke has taken enough courage to confront my behaviors.

I have often heard it said that we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. A compliment is like verbal sunshine. So, every day lets brighten someone’s life and give a genuine compliment! See the difference this sunshine makes!

What is the best compliment you remember?

4 comments:

Joy in the Burbs... said...

Good and true words Karin.


Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col. 4:3


Joy

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I am like you, Karin. I can see through someone who 'thinks' they are paying a compliment --when you know that they are not. I think you need to develop a relationship with someone before being totally honest. And sometimes, honesty doesn't help (depending on the situation). A person can really 'hurt' someone in the name of honesty sometimes. And sometimes things need to be left unsaid.. BUT--simple words said to others like 'nice job' are complimentary and should be taken that way. Just my thoughts for tonight.
Hugs,
Betsy

Karabeth said...

Karin,

I enjoyed your post today. And I mean that sincerely.

One of the best compliments I received was from a woman at our church yesterday who had returned from a mission conference in FL with a message for me. She didn't even know what the message meant and kind of hinted that she wanted to know but I didn't tell her.

The story is something like this: A missionary wife with whom I am only nominally acquainted is going through a horrible health struggle. The Lord told me I should reach out to this woman and that I should let her into one of my secret confidences because it might be an encouragement to the woman in her battle. I sent the email to the woman and since I never received a reply I just dismissed giving it any more thought.

Then the lady from our church ran into the missionary wife last week. The wife said, "Tell your pastor's wife that I so much appreciated what she said to me in her email." Not only had she remembered my email, but she had kept what I said in strictest confidence. I took this as a sincere compliment. Our church member delivered the message but is mystified as to the meaning of it.

Charity Childs-Gevero said...

aaahhh...your post has left me speechless...

I,too, come from a family like that one, the one that you have described above. On both sides!

I wish it weren't the same, either! I believe that compliments, appreciation, is looking at people through the eyes of an angel...one who can truly appreciate people...that person is a gem!

I also believe that the truest form of a compliment is when I can feel someone sees me for who I am, really. I stick to people like that. :) I can also feel the difference between flattery and true appreciation. :)