I heard once that when someone has a negative experience, they will share it with (on average) ten people. When a person experiences something positive, however, they usually tell only one person.
Let's change all that, shall we?
Today I was on the receiving end of several compliments. Now, we can talk at length about receiving compliments,and how hard it is for some of us (particularly us girls.) I've actually trained myself to receive compliments graciously ("thank you.") What I'm pondering today is how absolutely good a compliment can be - to both receive and give.
A very creative friend of mine, a musician, told me this morning how much she likes my writing. I'm still floating on that one. It means a lot to me because I know she doesn't hand out compliments easily - she is always genuine.
When the lady at the cosmetics counter told me I had beautiful skin, I liked hearing that, too. It may just have been her sales training doing the talking, but that's OK. It was nice to hear something positive.
I felt so good after hearing these good things today that I decided to do a little experiment. I know it is great to receive compliments, but I also realize it is pretty cool to hand them out.
Recently I met a young woman at the Crisis Pregnancy Center where I am a volunteer. She is 32 and expecting her fifth child. Like many of the woman who come to the center, she is overwhelmed. She has so much responsibility, not much support. As I got to know her I was wowed by her intelligence, courage and ingenuity. I was impressed by how much she had sacrificed for her children. I was absolutely amazed at how hard she was willing to work to make her life better for herself and her children.
So I gave her something in addition to some diapers and clothing for her baby: I gave her a sincere compliment.
She smiled a beautiful smile, and her eyes absolutely shone. I could tell that she did not receive genuine praise very often. I was hooked.
So today, after I was fortunate enough to hear a few good words myself, I started that experiment in earnest. I sent my husband a text message: you are a good husband.
He texted me back, then called and left a voice mail.
First: "the suspicion is rising."
Then: "OK, so what did you buy? Either you bought something, or you want to buy something, or you want to go somewhere. So text me and tell me, what did you buy, and where do you want to go."
Apparently I do not compliment my Big Man enough. Or perhaps my compliments appear to be only well-placed bribes.
My goodness. Now I'm on a mission to give my husband - and the other wonderful people in my life - real, honest, non-self-serving compliments. I really need to work on this.
By the way, YOU look mahvelous!