I have a confession. Sometimes I can be a bit judgy. I notice this the most when I’m at the airport. I catch myself thinking critical thoughts about the way people look. It’s embarrassing and superficial, not to mention not very nice. I certainly don’t want people doing this to me.
I Tried an Experiment…
So on a recent trip I decided to try something different. A compliment experiment. As I passed people I would think something nice about them: She’s wearing my favorite color pink. He has a great jacket on. Wow, what pretty hair.
If I couldn’t think of something I’d just make something up. That’s really what I’m doing when I think a critical thought anyway. I’d think: I bet she’s a wonderful grandmother. Or, he looks like he’s a super athlete. She looks like she’s got a great sense of humor.
And Here’s What Happened
A couple of things happened when I did this. First of all, I felt better. Being critical of others is like drinking Drano – it’s poison. Next, even though I wasn’t saying anything out loud, those I passed got a jolt of good vibes and often smiled at me. That made both of us feel great.
Then something really fun and unexpected happened…
I started to receive random compliments back. After a morning of sprinkling energetic compliments on people I passed, I was at lunch with my husband and some friends. As I was getting up to leave the table the waiter said to me “Oh my gosh, that is the cutest outfit!” I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. Not ugly, but certainly not the cutest outfit.
Then it happened again – I was doing a book signing before a presentation and had caught myself judging the venue and honestly, some of the attendees. I mentally told myself, “Stop it!” and started energetically dolling out compliments. Within 10 minutes I had two different people tell me that I had great handwriting. Now I don’t write in chicken scratch, but I have never been told I have great handwriting. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Sunday, January 24 is National Compliment Day
Why don’t you try this compliment experiment and see what happens? Want some inspiration for the power of compliments? Watch this – it’s my absolute favorite video!