Quick side bar: I was rambling about something the other day and apparently had gotten to a point of annoyance...CP said "I would pat you on your back but your hand is the in the way." CP really knows how to humble a person.
Most of us with mothers remember what it was like to be told 'you did a good job cleaning your room'. Or how proud it made your mom when you made an A+ on your math test. Sure it seems trivial now. Sure some of us even think compliments are unnecessary. "I am not a child any more I don't need to hear that crap." But I would be willing to bet (theoretically), that same person if they thought about it for a half a second could quickly recall the last time they were told...
- "You are a quality employee and for that we would like you accept this Customer of the Year award and a $500 check to show our appreciation."
- "Just want you to know how much your friendship means to me."
- "I have been watching you over the last few months and you have done a great job with your diet. You have shown exceptional discipline. I am proud of you. You should be proud of yourself."
- "Thanks for being here for me during this time. It means a lot to me."
...and how quickly they could recall the name, person, and place when they heard the words.
We encourage our kids with words of praise and we see how much it brightens their day. When they bring a picture to you they have created, drawn, or colored. What happens when you take a minute to say "Wow you did this by yourself? This is great. You are very artistic." Remember the response...usually a big smile breaks out across their face. And more times than not, they run and draw another picture. It makes them feel better about themselves. It gives them a sense of acceptance. Why stop at our kids?
I challenge you to give this a whirl. You can do it. Not to abuse it mind you, by all means mind your manners. But try it on your friends, co-workers, even your parents. That's right...turn it on your parents. Freak them out with a word of encouragement or a compliment. There have been rare reports of parents accepting this verbal gesture graciously. However, most likely they will look at you like you just grew another head on your shoulders because nothing like that has ever come out of your mouth toward them like that before...just sayin'...be prepared for 'the look'.
Try it on your spouse. OK your right. I took you to the advanced course a little to fast. Deep breath; that's it. We are back to the beginner course. You may want to take baby steps with this complimenting your spouse thing. Start with your friends. Move to your parents. One step at a time. Didn't mean to frighten you. Deep breath; that's it. Your color is back...good.
But when you least expect it, a few days or weeks down the road, you may hear them telling somebody about how much it meant to them. Do not be surprised if you are the one they are telling.