This past week I was shadowing a neuropsychologist at a children’s hospital in my area. When I met her, we talked for a little while, and halfway through our conversation she looked at me and said “I really like your pants. I can never find pants that fit me right, so I usually just wear skirts to work.”
I was at worship band practice this last Thursday, and I was wearing my knockoff berkenstocks. While a couple of students and I were waiting for someone to let us into the building, one of the girls, who has a really good sense of style, looked down at my feet and said, “Abby, I really like your shoes.”
These are just a few instances that I can remember off the top of my head, but there have been many other times where someone’s compliments that they have given me have made my day better. Those little comments that you might think have little impact on someone could turn their day around. In both of those cases above, those simple compliments made me feel more confident for the rest of the day.
I know I shouldn’t need validation to have confidence.
I have been working on feeling confident in Jesus and what He has made me to be. But I still do feel great when someone compliments me, and I know others do too. I see a lot of talk on social media about how when people receive compliments, they don’t know how to respond. This has me thinking that the reason we don’t know how to act when given a compliment is because we aren’t used to being built up by our peers.
It feels like in today’s society its all about competition. Who’s the best dressed, who has the best grades, who’s the strongest in their faith, etc. Girls specifically would rather rip their peers to shreds before they ever complimented them. Honestly, thats our culture, and its sad.
But imagine if we could change that. All it takes is doing something as simple as telling someone that they are doing great today, or that you like their outfit. Its really not that hard.
Sometimes, I spend more time thinking about whether I should compliment someone than I do actually giving out compliments.
I’ll stand there and think to myself “Wow, I just love that person’s hair. Do I tell them? Will they think I’m weird if I say that to them?” A lot of times, I won’t even be able to muster up the courage to tell them, yet I know that if I did, I could help build someone up in a society where all we do is tear others down.
It really doesn’t take much to compliment someone, even when its just passing them by. All it takes is a few words strung together in such a way to make someone feel good about themselves and what they are doing. I don’t know why I don’t do it more often, because I know the impact it can have on someone. My challenge to you is that if you like something about a person, tell them. It won’t hurt anyone, rather it may help patch someone’s confidence back together. And even if you receive just a simple smile in return, you’re spreading love and joy in a world that really needs it.
What the bible has to say about: building each other up
1 Thessalonians 5:1
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
When we compliment one another, we are obeying God’s commandment to encourage one another. I love this verse because although its simple, it tells us one way we as Christians are able to stand out from the rest of the world. We can use encouragement as a way to show God’s love that He has for them, as well as us.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
In God’s word it says that we should not talk poorly of others, yet gossip and bullying are common behaviors in our culture. As Christians, we should work to refrain from such things.
Tip and tidbits about complimenting others*
- Don’t be afraid. Don’t let the fear of being judged by others stop you from complimenting someone. You shouldn’t be afraid to say something nice to someone. It won’t do any harm.
- Keep it simple. Compliments don’t have to be complex. They could be something as simple as “Your hair looks really nice today.” If it comes from the heart and builds them up, it doesn’t matter what you say.
* These tips and tidbits are specific to me and my life. Although they may work for the reader, I am not a professional in this area. These are merely suggestions that may or may not work for anyone.